Local Boston Marathon runners return home

Some of the Boston Marathon runners have made it back home to Michiana. But, the reality of what happened Monday is still sinking in.

One group of runners was able to get on a flight out of Boston last night and made it to South Bend, Ind. at around 2 a.m. Tuesday. While some spent the day back at work, their thoughts were still with those hurt in the explosions.

“I have been distracted all morning because my heart and my head are still in Boston,” said Laura Carlson, a Boston native.

Carlson, along with her friends Tracy Eaves and Lisa Smith, had been looking forward to crossing the finish line this year. But, thoughts of their runs soon vanished when they heard the explosions.

Eaves was on the phone with her husband, excited to tell him she had finished the race, when the first explosion occurred.

“There was a tremendous boom,” Eaves said. “A body-shaking boom. I just saw a cloud of smoke.”

Smith crossed the finish line minutes before the incident.

“I walked underneath the arch and I heard a huge explosion,” she said. “You could see a huge cloud, but you couldn't see the people.”

Amid the smoke and debris, Carlson’s image of the Boston Marathon changed drastically. She grew up witnessing Patriot’s Day celebrations. This year, the joyful atmosphere was tainted by terror.

“The first thing you think about is the spectators who come out to support the runners,” Carlson said. “And now, to have this horrible thing happen is just heartbreaking.”

Still, all three women said they plan to take part in the marathon again.

“Runners are a resilient group,” Carlson said. “People will go to Boston next year. I'll be there too. It’s not going to change me.”

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