Marquette prof finished Boston Marathon just before explosions

CREATED Apr 15, 2013 - UPDATED: Apr 16, 2013

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BOSTON - Gary Krenz is a mathematics professor at Marquette University. He crossed the finish line just moments before the explosions rang out. He's okay, but he was rattled by Monday's events.

"Bam.  It sounded like a cannon," said Krenz, who spoke with Cody Holyoke and Tom Murray of TODAY'S TMJ4.

"I had just crossed the finish line, I was sort of clearing the finish line, and heard the first explosion,” Krenz said. “I turned around. I've seen the pictures on television here. To me, it looked like something a lot smaller, almost like a lollipop smoke. It was blacker. Then I saw the second one, and they told us to sort of clear through. [I] Missed the explosion by probably 30 seconds or so. It's just very freaky."

Gary's wife was also nearby, but she is also okay.

Krenz looked back on a special request he got at the start of the race, which became eerie to think about after the tragic events.

"At the start, an older woman came over and said, 'Could I pray for you?'  This was the first time in nine Boston Marathons, and I'm at a Catholic, Jesuit institution, and she prays for my safety.  I made it.  I was lucky."

Krenz has cleared the area, and is headed home soon.

Cody Holyoke and Tom Murray contributed to this report.