The Boston Marathon drew 29 entries from West Hartford runners this year and at least 11 of them crossed the finish line before the explosions rocked the area at about 2:50 p.m. Monday, according to the race's website.
It was unclear Monday night whether any Connecticut residents were among the dozens reported injuried. A busload of runners from the Hartford Track Club appeared to be safe.
West Hartford resident Kimberly Cowherd-Iacovazzi said Monday evening that her husband, 53-year-old Vito Iacovazzi, finished the marathon about 30 minutes before the explosions. They didn't hear the blasts, she said, but ran into people who did and described the sound as "cannons going off."
The Iacovazzis are staying in a hotel several blocks from the scene. In the hotel lobby, she said, runners were wearing the marathon medals around their necks, "but no one is happy. No one is celebrating ... We're told to stay put."
For now, the West Hartford couple has been watching television reports of the chaos. But earlier, when Cowherd-Iacovazzi was waiting in a crowd for her husband to finish his third marathon, she said an eerie thought entered her head.
"You're eight, 10 people deep," said Cowherd-Iacovazzi, who organized the inaugural West Hartford Relay race last year.
"I had that thought, if something happened, you can't go anywhere ... It's a scary situation to be in, because there are thousands of spectators. It feels very surreal right now."
Dave Lynch of West Hartford said his wife, Mary Anne, a member of the Hartford Track Club, and two of their adult children ran in the marathon. A third child was in Boston to watch, and "it was just a highly stressful afternoon trying to find out where everyone was," Lynch said.
As of 8 p.m. Monday, Lynch still hadn't heard their voices — his phone calls weren't connecting — but he found out they were OK through text messaging.
"I got texts from different kids," Lynch said. "They were all like, 'Have you seen Mom? Have you seen Matt?' ... Everyone was madly texting around."
Everyone reunited at the hotel where they will be staying overnight, Lynch said. Mary Anne, who writes the Courant's "Love Story" column under the byline M.A.C. Lynch, didn't finish the marathon because of the explosions, he said. It was her 13th running of the Boston Marathon.
Their son Matthew Lynch, a doctor who now lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and daughter Elizabeth Lynch, a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, completed the race.
"All our neighbors knew they were running; they were very concerned," Dave Lynch said. "117 years of Boston Marathons and we had to have this... It's just a sad commentary on the world today."