W.Va. Runner Stopped Short of Finish Line

It was a great day for a race. The temperature was mild, the sun was shining and Clarksburg, W.Va. resident Bob Steptoe was having a “great run” during the Boston Marathon on Monday.

With about 3 miles to go, however, Steptoe, his son and two of his daughters were told by police that the race was over, indicating a bomb had gone off at the finish line.

“I was disappointed and outraged that something like this could happen,” said Steptoe, a member of the Steptoe & Johnson law firm, which has offices across the country, including one in Wheeling.

At last count, three people died in the initial blast and 170 were injured.

Steptoe, his son Rob Steptoe and daughters Kate Fisher and Anne Steptoe-Sexton were running together and aimed to cross the finish line together. A third daughter, Elizabeth Smailes, and some other relatives were posted along the route and handed them water during the race. They were there to honor Steptoe’s late wife, Mary Pat, who died two years ago after battling cancer. They also were there to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

With the race stopped, Steptoe and his children made their way back to their hotel. After a few miles of walking, Steptoe decided to attempt to hitch a free ride, not expecting any results.

“The people in Boston were great. They were looking for people to help. I threw my thumb out thinking it would never work and the first car that came by stopped,” he said. “The people I saw were calm and just getting back to their hotels.”

Steptoe said he had run the marathon in the past and would love to do it again in the future.