Utah governor describes daughter's ordeal after Boston Marathon blasts

Published: Wednesday, April 17 2013 1:50 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert expressed his gratitude Wednesday to the strangers who came forward to help his daughter in the aftermath of the deadly Boston Marathon blasts.

The governor told reporters during the taping of his monthly press conference on KUED Ch. 7 that his daughter, Kim Cahoon, safely crossed the finish line about 30 minutes before the explosions that left three dead and more than 100 injured.

But on her way back to her hotel, Herbert said, his daughter was overcome by the effects of running a 26.2-mile race and became disoriented after having to evacuate a subway train in the chaos following the explosions.

"She was disoriented, she didn't know where she was at, she was alone," the governor said. "She was unclear. That coupled with her weakened condition, her sickness, made it really difficult. But good people came to her rescue."

Strangers, he said, "found her and said, 'Hey are you OK?' They actually carried her," he said. "I thank the people who saw somebody in need and stepped up to help a stranger. That's what I'll remember about this."

Herbert, who said he was finishing a meeting when he checked his daughter's progress in the race online and realized she'd finished, was notified about the explosions by an assistant.

"Which was a little bit traumatic," the governor told reporters, his voice breaking.

After double-checking her time, Herbert said he realized she'd finished the race before the blasts. "Then I just got a text from my son-in-law who said, 'Kim's OK.' So that little difficult time was short lived."

Having a loved one in the midst of the mayhem only reinforced his optimism in the goodness of most people, the governor said.

Saturday's Salt Lake City Marathon will have "heightened security. Everything that can be done is being done to make sure we don't have some kind of an event that takes place here that ends in tragedy," he said.

While the governor said good people far outnumber bad everywhere, he believes that's especially true in Utah.

"I hope we all appreciate and are grateful we live in Utah," he said. "I'm not naive about this. We have every evil in Utah that there is in any part of the country, or around the world. We just don't have it in abundance."

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