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Fernandina Beach pastor crosses finish line moments before explosions

9:14 PM, Apr 15, 2013   |    comments
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BOSTON -- Brett Opalinski, pastor of Memorial United Methodist Church in Fernandina Beach and runner in the Boston Marathon recounts the moments after he and his family heard the news about the explosions at the finish line.   

"We couldn't believe we were all just there just a few minutes before. My family had just walked right passed it not ten minutes before it happened," he said.

Opalinski said they weren't alone. Other runners and their family members were stunned as well as they all listened to the news at a Boston restuarant...

"You could see people covering their mouths and some people crying. It was just complete shock. "

Opalinski said his 10 year old and 15 year old are pretty shaken up as well.        

"We had spent a lot of time down there at the finish area and I think especially seeing the images on television and hearing people had died and had been injured, that really shook them up.
Opalinski said he reassured his kids they are OK and he asked them to keep the victims and those injured by the explosions in their prayers.

"I'm just so grateful that they're OK. and it's absolutely heartbreaking for those who aren't OK. Where those explosions went off. Those are areas where it's just full of people and that's the part of the course where there are the most people cheering. I know exactly where the explosions happened and it's just absolutely heartbreaking."

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