HOUSTON -- The explosions at the Boston Marathon happened 1,600 miles away from the Bayou City, but to some Houstonians, it could just as easily have happened next door. That's why a crowd gathered at City Hall Monday night and that is what's being said among Houston s running community.

Pretty tragic. I mean, I don't know what the world's coming to, said runner Ricky Williams. We're not safe nowhere no more.

And it happened on a day devoted to excellence.

It's a travesty that a lot of people worked so hard to get themselves in that physical condition and something as massive as this just takes away from the good that people want to do, said runner George Longoria.

The stunning news stirred social media.

Our thoughts are with everyone who was nearby, said one comment on Facebook, and also with the first responders who are doing an incredible and impossible job.

Such a sad day. My heart aches for Boston and all those affected. Is there any end to the senseless violence or is this our new normal, said another.

Some of the runners at Memorial Park Monday night spoke about what a privilege it is to simply jog through a park on a day like this.

Indeed, one young woman said she put on her running shoes and hit the trail just to make a statement against what happened in Boston.

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