Catskills runners among those at Boston Marathon

Eighteen runners from the Catskills region -- Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster Counties -- were among those registered for the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, where explosions killed at least three people and injured over 140.

The Watershed Post obtained the names of the local runners with a zipcode-based search of the Boston Marathon organizers' runner database. Among them were two runners from Delaware County, two from Schoharie County, one from Sullivan County and thirteen from Ulster County. No runners from Greene County were found in the database.

Embedded below is a spreadsheet of the runners, with their home towns. We have cross-referenced their names with Google's Boston Marathon Person Finder to find out if local runners have been reported as safe. The links in the "Link" column lead to more information about specific runners.

If you can verify that any runner on this list is safe, please fill out a report on Google's Person Finder, then let us know. We will update the spreadsheet below as we get more information. 

Accounts of local runners from news and social media (updated as we find them): 

61-year-old Erika Oesterle of Stamford ran in the Boston Marathon, with her husband Roger Oesterle along to meet her at the finish line. Their son Ulf Oesterle posted a harrowing account on Facebook of trying to contact his parents after the blast. From Ulf's account:

My mother was 76 seconds from the finish line. The second blast was even closer to her. If she averaged 2-3 seconds faster per mile, she would have been right there. If my Dad was on the other side of the street, today could have been devastating for me.

But it was devastating for someone. It was devastating for hundreds of people. As I write this, three have died. There are over a hundred injured, and every family has a story that parallels this to the end. But their story ends in tragedy. I’m fortunate. My family is fortunate.

New Paltz runner David Shepler escaped injury by minutes, the Times Herald-Record reports:

Shepler was in the subway and unaware of the bombs when, at the car’s first stop, it was evacuated without explanation. The subway system, he said, had been shut immediately after the explosions, Cell phone service was spotty at best, which made it difficult to assure people he was OK.

Eventually, he located friends and fellow marathoners from the mid-Hudson region. He gave their names as Jennifer Patterson, Mark Mulpeter and Anne Gulickson. He believed they, like him, had all crossed the finish line before the bombs went off.

The Kingston Daily Freeman spoke with several runners from Ulster County, who were unhurt but shaken: Shepler, Jennifer Jankowski, Fred Stewart, Denise Iannizzotto and Christene Spiezo:

“It was surreal,” Stewart said. “We didn’t know what to think at first. We thought it might have been a transformer or something like that.

“Then word spread pretty quickly.”

“Hysteria set in,” Jankowski said. “I completely panicked. I’m looking around and seeing these big beautiful hotels all around us and thinking, ‘could these be targets.’”