BOSTON -- When Concord resident Jim Pinto answered his wife's phone call from the East Coast on Monday afternoon, he had no idea why she was so frantic.

His wife, Joan Pinto, had just crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon with a time of 4:04:56, so he figured she'd be happy.

But that was not the case for the 49-year-old Bay Area wife and mother.

"She called me right after she finished," her 58-year-old husband said Tuesday morning. "She was pretty upset. I didn't really know what was going on."

As she told him what had happened, he turned on the TV and saw the chaotic aftermath of the twin explosions set off near the finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 170.

"She's fine but we were all weeping and a little upset," he said, describing the shock experienced by his 11-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son as they learned what had happened.

Jim Pinto said when he spoke to his wife again Tuesday morning, she spoke about heightened security in the area where she stayed overnight in downtown Boston.

"They had pretty tight security last night and into this morning. She had a hotel curfew," he said.

She boarded a plane in Boston this morning and was scheduled to land at San Francisco International Airport this afternoon., Pinto said.

"She's actually on a plane headed back with two friends who also ran the race," he said. "I am excited and so are the kids."


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Another Bay Area woman, Lucretia Ausse, 54, finished the race a few minutes before the bombs went off.

Ausse, of Berkeley, said she was a block and a half away from the explosions when they went off. When she heard the first bomb detonate, she said, she thought it was a water cannon, but then she saw a plume of smoke.

About 10 seconds later, she heard the second blast.

"People gasped during the first explosion, then panicked during the second," she said. "The police and race directors immediately went into action.

"It was amazing. They were on it and got us moving in the right direction. About five to 10 minutes later, the emergency sirens started and went into the night."

They ceased about 10 p.m. on Monday, she said.

"When they stopped, it was kind of eerie," Ausse said.

On Tuesday, she said she and her partner, Maureen Elia, 57, also of Berkeley, were simply trying to relax at the Boston-based Beacon Hill bed-and-breakfast where they stayed overnight.

"People are till trying to process what happened," she said. "It's very odd. Really, really surreal to be at the epicenter of this.

"After the second boom happened, it was clear things were not right and people got upset immediately."

Tuesday morning, she said she was out for a walk along the Charles River.

"Police and Coast Guard helicopters have been circulating overhead since sunrise," she said."We're just trying to relax. I'm looking forward to being surrounded by family."

The Associated Press contributed to this story. Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.