Lisa-Marie Burnside woke up in her Burbank home Monday morning devastated that she wouldn’t be running in the Boston Marathon.
The 28-year-old qualified this year after finishing the Los Angeles Marathon in just under 3 1/2 hours. But she pulled out of the race about three weeks ago because of financial burdens brought on after her father died suddenly.
Then on Monday, about three hours into the 117th running of the 26.2-mile race, an explosion went off at the Boylston Street finish line, witnesses said. It was followed by a second explosion just seconds later, the L.A. Times reported.
After hearing about the explosions, which killed three people and injured more than 100, suddenly Burnside’s inability to make it to Boston was a blessing in disguise.
[Updated April 16, 2013 : This post was updated to reflect a higher number of casualities.]
“It very well could have saved my life,” she said. “The world, or whatever you believe in, was on my side today. It’s surreal.”
Burnside, who works as an actress and as a bartender at the Tonga Hut, was planning the trip to Boston with her best friend.
Canceling “was one of hardest decisions I’ve had to make,” she said. “Because I’ve worked so hard for it – to qualify is so hard to do.”
If the pair had gone, her friend would’ve likely been at the finish line waiting for her to cross at the time of the explosion, she said.
“I don’t understand what kind of person could do this to people who are so healthy and trying to better their lives,” she said. “It just doesn’t make any sense.”
According to Boston Marathon records, five other runners are from Burbank. Their conditions could not immediately be tracked down.