WILKES-BARRE — Whitney Lukas, 20, of Courtdale, went to Boston to run in what was only her second marathon ever. She qualified for Boston at the Steamtown Marathon last year. She finished the race Monday, but says it wasn’t the kind of celebratory ending she hoped for.
When we met Whitney Lukas at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre, where she trained for the Boston Marathon, she apologized for walking funny. She says blisters cover her feet.
“Oh, there’s one that’s this big. It’s so bad.”
But that’s nothing compared to the pain that Whitney feels for those hurt in the explosions at the Boston Marathon. Whitney crossed the finish line minutes before the first bomb went off, her time somewhere around four hours.
Her father Paul says he knew the explosions were deliberate.
“You knew it wasn’t anything accidental. I mean it was a bomb. It was so loud. And I remember there was a metallic sound to it,” said Paul Lukas of Courtdale.
“Then 10 seconds later, the second one went off and all I thought was I don’t know where my parents are,” said Whitney Lukas.
Whitney’s parents were waiting in different areas. Whitney’s dad says he was just as frantic as she was.
“I ran right into my wife Jane, and then we sought Whitney out. But everybody was crying. It was bad,” said Paul.
“It’s not the way you wanted to see her finish that race,” Newswatch 16 said.
“No. But we’re proud,” he said.
It’s obvious when Whitney talks about the race, with jacket and medals in tow, she’s proud to have finished. But she says she feels bad for the runners who didn’t, and that’s not the only reason she feels guilty.
“For somebody, like a runner or a family member to not come back with their significant other, it just seems unfair. It’s just like what did I do to deserve both my parents, you know?”
Whitney and her parents got back safely to Luzerne County Monday night. She says they left Boston as soon as they found each other, even before the bridges closed.