BOSTON -- First Coast News has spent hours tracking down the local runners who are in Boston. Many of them have incredible stories to tell. Here are some of their firsthand accounts of what happened after the explosions at the Boston Marathon.
Carley Glasser, 25, a third grade teacher at Beaches Episcopal School in Jacksonville Beach, said she was in a restaurant two blocks from the site of the blasts. She was celebrating with friends, excited about having finished her first Boston Marathon in just over 3 hours when her elation turned to shock.
"We were all inside of the restaurant when probably five or six 20-year-olds come running in through the hotel restaurant entrance screaming there was a bomb and they were frantic," said Glasser.
Ian Harris, 25, a Ponte Vedra native and 2006 graduate of Nease High School now lives in Boston. He said he was at his office near the finish line when he felt the first explosion.
"I was six stories up about 100 yards away on the same side of the street as the explosion so I didn't see the explosion."
Harris said it sounded like a celebratory cannon being fired.
"It shook the entire building and then we heard another and realized it was probably a bit more serious."
He watched as runners rushed away from the scene and within seconds, he said first responders rushed towards the injured.
"Then we saw people in wheelchairs, partially missing limbs being shuffled into a tent."
Harris and his co-workers first thought they would be safer inside their building in case there was another explosion outside, but a few minutes later, he said they were evacuated down the backstairs onto the street.
"Literally everyone on the street whether friend of foe was running for their life," said Harris.
Two blocks from the scene Jacksonville runner Matt Bulecza, 31, who had already finished the marathon and heard the blasts as he walked down the street.
"It's kind of surreal to be honest with you. It's a big accomplishment not just for me but everyone running and especially for those people coming across at that time. I think the clock was showing 4:11 and that's normally when you are starting to see bigger crowds come through and finish and to not have them be able to finish or their loved ones watching, it's kind of hard to be honest."
First Coast News