Boston marathoners return back to Fresno on Tuesday, sharing their stories from a very frightening ordeal. A Visalia woman was so close to the finish line, she heard and saw the explosions and was forced to turn around. Fortunately none of the runners from the Central Valley were injured.
Two Boston marathoners arrive at the Fresno airport, happy to be back, but still shocked by what happened. Sally Lovejoy estimates she was 200 yards away when the bombs went off.
"I heard an explosion, looked up, saw a bunch of smoke, continued to run, and I saw a fireball. And within seconds heard the second explosion and at that point I stopped running. I didn't know what it was. I didn't know what to do," said Lovejoy.
Stunned and obviously unable to cross the finish line, she turned around and walked back to her hotel. She cringes knowing she was almost in the middle of a violent attack.
"I actually stopped at mile 22 to use the bathroom for probably over a minute. And that would have put me right there, so I feel really lucky and blessed that I wasn't across the finish line," said Lovejoy.
Steve Monke finished the 26.2 miles about an hour before the blasts and was already back at his hotel. Afterwards, he says the entire city felt eerie.
"Everything was very surreal and quiet there, just really somber and just really sad," said Monke.
Both runners are glad their families didn't make this Boston trip, like they have in years past. They're now praying for the victims in the northeast.
A running event is being planned in Fresno on Sunday to support people affected by the Boston terrorism. Participants can run or walk 2.62 miles. It starts at 7:30am at the Sierra Running Company, located at Friant and Fort Washington. People are encouraged to wear "Boston" clothing.