April 17, 2013
Cable Execs Recount Scene from Boston Marathon
By Amy Maclean
As the nation mourns the death and injuries in Boston, family, friends and coworkers were frantically trying to get in touch with loved ones Mon who were at the race. Companies tried to account for employees who were in the area.
Trevor Arp, Comcast vp, product mgmt for the Northeast div, was running with his wife Kelly. It was supposed to be their 2nd marathon, but the NYC Marathon was canceled this fall in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. "We were at the 23-mile mark when the explosions happened," he told us. "In an odd twist of fate, our pacing through the first 15 miles would have had us at the finish line at almost the exact minute of the explosions, but I started having knee problems and had to slow down."
In the chaos following the explosions, it wasn't really clear what had happened that far back from the finish. Arp said he and his wife continued running until the 25-mile mark before they were stopped. "[It was] not until my phone started ringing off the hook, tons of texts and news alerts did we have any idea," he said. "We were lucky to have friends in Brookline who came and picked us up, but most folks didn't know what to do or where to go. That said, the BAA did a wonderful job given the chaos."
Anyone who has read CableFAX.com's "Comings & Goings" column on a regular basis knows that the industry has many marathon runners. Betsy Brightman, vp of affiliate relations & distribution for RLTV, was at the event with her family, cheering on her husband Jay Brightman in his first marathon. "We expected Jay to run a 4:15 or 4:25ish time, so we were expecting him to round the corner from Hereford onto Boylston," said Brightman, who was standing on Boylston with her son and other family members at the time of the attacks. Her two daughters were in the crowd about 2.5 blocks away. Brightman estimated they were about 30 yards from the first explosion. In the chaos, she tried to run toward her daughters. "I called one [on her phone] and she answered, thank God, to tell me they were running away," Brightman said.
Streets were immediately closed off, and Brightman and her daughters met in the lobby of the Sheraton where they were staying. She lent her phone to runners who had evacuated there with nowhere to go and no phones, money, etc. "[I] cannot commend the Sheraton staff and managers enough," said Brightman, who noted they were handing out blankets, water bottles, letting people use their desk phones.
Brightman wasn't able to reach her husband for about 45 minutes after the explosions because of cellphone overload, but she knew he was OK because he hadn't made the turn onto Boylston where the finish line was. He eventually came back to the hotel with 3 other runners. Brightman's family was supposed to leave Mon but ended up staying overnight because they couldn't get their car from a garage that was in a closed-off area.
Events continued to be canceled because of the tragedy. Tues' Celtics home game against the Pacers, with TNT replacing it with Raptors - Hawks game. Fuse postponed a press conference announcing its partnership with Trident and Twitter originally scheduled for Tues due to the traffic events in Boston. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Boston, and our hearts go out to the victims and their loved ones. We will be in touch with future details as they are determined," Fuse said.