North Texans reached out to loved ones in Boston in the aftermath of the deadly Boston Marathon bombings.
"They can't believe it happened at the Boston Marathon of all places which is like the Holy Grail in running in the US, the oldest event we have," said Cowtown Marathon trainer Jim Newsom.
He said every major running event will have to change how it does security after Monday's deadly bombing in Boston where authorities said at least three people were killed and more than 140 were injured during two explosions near the finish line.
Within minutes of the blasts, North Texans were on the phone trying to call friends and family members. Those they couldn't reach were logging onto Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and other social media accounts to find out what happened and to see if they were okay.
Rocky Higginbotham had nearly a dozen friends and clients running in the Boston Marathon.
"Some of them just finished 15, 20 minutes before the explosion," said Higginbotham. "Some of them have posted on social media on Facebook and those kinds of things that they're okay and their family's okay and we're accounted for at least 9 people and family members"
One of them, Kim Gray, finished about 20 minutes before the explosions and talked to FOX4 by phone.
"There was the first explosion and it sounded like in the movies on a building being blown up like it's falling down and then a few seconds later there was another one and everyone was just looking around. All we heard were like sirens everywhere. A few minutes later people were rushing, pretty much rushing me they were running towards me screaming and crying and they said there were bombs going off," said Kim Gray.
Gray ran a 3:43 race. The bombs went off around the 4-hour mark. What's eerie for Kim, she said her plan all along was to run a 4-hour race. But she said she got about 5 miles from the finish, felt good and poured on the extra speed. She said she easily could have been right there when the bombs went off.
Rocky Higginbotham said he's spoken with the organizer of another North Texas marathon coming up in two weeks. That person has already made calls to the police and FBI to ensure that event will be well protected.
More than 900 runners from Texas raced in the Boston Marathon. More than 100 came from Dallas and not all finished because of the explosions.
Sabine Norris was in her hotel room recovering when the bombs exploded. She told FOX4 she never feared for her safety. "I never thought that marathons could ever be a target," said Norris. "The 26.2 miles just went out the door there, there was no celebrating a good race, there was no wallowing in a bad race."
Dallas Commercial Real Estate Broker Allyson Gump was recovering in the medical tent two blocks from the first blast. Her boyfriend ran into the tent to find her. "He goes, 'get out, get out' people are supposed to be running from the finish line. There's smoke, get out, get out, let's leave," said Gump.
Fortunately their families were waiting nearby and they raced back to their hotel away from the bloodshed.
This is one of the biggest marathons of the year for many runners.
At Luke's Locker it's highlighted on the store's calendar and runners are shocked and saddened.
"It's just sad and disappointing to see this kind of activity happen anywhere, but certainly at a road race where people are coming together peaceful and wonderful thing," said President and CEO of Luke's Locker Matt Lucas.
The White Rock Running Club planned a celebratory dinner in Boston Monday night. Now they're moving it to later another day in Dallas. Their focus is getting home on Tuesday and the owners of Luke's Locker plan to welcome them home at DFW Airport.
KDFW FOX 4
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