CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - After running more than 25 miles, exhaustion was setting in for Roswitha Goossens-Winter, but she was determined to complete the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Goossens-Winter, then 64, was losing speed April 15, 2013, as she closed in on the finish line, and her goal of completing five of the 26.2 mile marathons.
But as she approached the finish line she saw a man standing in the middle of Boylston Street shouting through a megaphone for runners to stop.
“He could have been anyone,” Goossens-Winter said.
She never heard anything out of the ordinary and didn’t know two bombs had just exploded at the finish line, killing four people and wounding many more.
People had lined both sides of the marathon route, cheering runners throughout the race. But suddenly she heard fellow runners talking about “terrorists” and “bombs” while looking at their cellphones. Goossens-Winter said she never brings her phone when she runs.
She began to worry about her daughter, Anna Maria Goossens, who traveled to the marathon with her husband and two young children to cheer her on. They had planned to meet at the finish line.
“I was afraid and began to talk to other people, and I was so cold,” Goossens-Winter said. One of the other runners handed her a cellphone and mother and daughter connected to tell each other they were OK.
Anna Maria Goossens said she was afraid because she didn’t hear from her mother for 15 minutes after the bomb exploded. The family had been standing at the finish line but left to go down a side street.
“We started to walk back to where we had been standing and heard the bomb go off when we were a block away from the finish line,” she said.
Goossens said she is a little concerned about this year’s marathon Monday, but she knows security will be tight.
“But a part of me says, ‘let’s show these jerks,’” she said.
She said likely won’t go to the finish line this year because she has a toddler and a 7-year-old.
Goossens said it’s a family tradition to watch her mother run, and the family has made the trip to Boston each year from Holyoke, Mass., to watch. They make signs and bring cow bells and sometimes wear matching t-shirts.
This year, Goossens-Winter is determined to realize her five Boston Marathons goal. She says fear won’t sideline her, but she will try to make it through the last stretch quickly. She is aiming to run her usual time, which is about four hours.
Goossens-Winter typically runs two marathons per year — one in the spring and one in fall. She trains for about 4 1/2 months. She plans to run in the Hartford Marathon in Connecticut this fall.
The German native, who began running in 1980 to lose weight after she moved to the U.S., got hooked on the sport.
In the video below, Roswitha Goossen-Winter talks about her experience running the 2013 Boston Marathon. Goossens-Winter is running the Boston Marathon again this year, hoping to finish the race she wasn't able to complete last year.
Mobile users, click here to watch the video: Remembering Boston