HOUSTON – Houston-area marathoners who ran in Boston were making their way back home Tuesday with much more than the typical marathon story.
“I was very much in the moment. I was feeling good and finishing strong,” said Jan Broyles, of Sugar Land.
Broyles said she was within sight of the finish when the bombing happened.
“I had rounded the corner. Turned left,” she said. “Saw and heard the first blast. I think you hear it before you look over to see and there is a puff of smoke.”
Margaret Halsey, of Northwest Houston, was just a little faster and had already made it to finish tent.
“(I was) jubilant! It was over,” she remembered. “I heard the first explosion and I thought, it is Patriot’s Day. It must be something, must be a cannon that they are doing.”
It was the second explosion that changed everything.
”The second blast goes off and then you immediately know that there is a problem. Kind of get around dazed a little and backtracked because forward is not a good place to go,” Broyles recalled.
After the initial confusion came realization.
“It was horrifying. That somebody could take something like the Boston Marathon and turn it into a terrorist event,” Halsey said.
As investigators seek a motive, that remains the biggest question to Broyles.
“No reason what so ever. Just to make us all afraid and take away our innocence,” she said.
Broyles saw the finish line and couldn’t get there, but Halsey worries no finish line will ever be the same.
“I hope they are. But it is probably going to take me a while and (to) get over when I am crossing the finishing line and wonder, ‘Uh oh. Could it happen again?” she said.