LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Many of the Boston Marathon runners from Kentuckiana returned home Tuesday still shaken by their close call with the bombings.
"The two things that I can close my eyes and see and hear right now is I can hear the two booms and I can see my wife there waiting for me," said Tom Block, who was competing in his first Boston Marathon.
Block didn't get to finish the race. He probably would have been a lot closer to the finish line than the medical transport bus he was in but for two things: a foot injury suffered cheering on the University of Louisville in Atlanta a week ago and some bad food the night before the race.
"Those things, me getting sick, me hurting my foot, you just have got to think there's a little bit of divine intervention there," said Block.
Instead, Block and his wife Stacy were searching for each other in the marathon medical tent nearby when the finish line exploded.
"It's just surreal," Stacy Block said. "It was just so loud and you felt the ground and you heard the explosion."
Tom said he was thinking, "'how the heck am I going to find her?' There are 30, 40, 50,000 people scrambling, going every direction and I'm not the only person doing this ... and I turned around and she was just standing there and it was just almost like a euphoria just to know that she was ok and we were both ok."
Jonathon Amlung, Tom's running friend, had finished the marathon 35 minutes before. Amlung and his wife Beth were walking back to the hotel when a stream of emergency crews rushed past.
"He and I walked a couple of blocks in silence and I said, 'gosh, I really hope this wasn't a terrorist thing,'" Beth Amlung said.
"Then there were all of these reports of undetonated bombs that they found and we just didn't want to leave the hotel at all at that point," said Jonathon Amlung.
Both couples left their children at home for the trip so there was a rush of reassuring calls that all was ok.
"I was actually very grateful that our daughter wasn't with us because she's almost six and at this point we don't even plan to tell her a lot about it," said Beth Amlung.
A day later, it all looks a bit different. Carpool pick up is not a daily chore.
"I considered going directly to the school," Beth Amlung said.
Home never looked so good.
"I could not wait until we got here," said Stacy Block. "Boston is a wonderful city and the people were fantastic but it's so good to be home, safe."
Both Tom and Jonathon have already signed up for the Chicago Marathon this fall and say despite the shock of what happened to them in Boston, they will absolutely be running.
Bell County, Kentucky runner, Dr. Ron Dubin was just a few miles short of completing his 35th marathon. He was at mile 22 when the bombs went off and suddenly all the runners were stopped by police and military. He was taken in by a local Boston couple.
"They really reached out to us," said Dubin. "They offered us a shower. Some clothes. They offered us a place to stay if we couldn't get to our hotel. Bostonians really reached out to the runners on that day."
Debbie Endean of Lexington was cheering on her husband, Rick on Monday. "I just heard these two big booms," said Endean. "I thought at first they must be shooting off cannons for Patriots Day."
The husband and wife were able to reunite not long after, but they like many others in the Bluegrass and across the country, they are all just left speechless.
"Why do this?" asked Rick Endean. "It's a waste of life, untold people are being hurt by this and it's just rotten what can I say."
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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