April 15, 2013
Several runners from central Virginia are in Boston Monday night, after running the marathon. Dual blasts rattled the area near the finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 100.
Local runners say they are safe and spending the night inside their hotels after most had just finished the race of their dreams.
"This is considered the Kentucky Derby, the Wimbledon, the Super Bowl of running events," said Charlottesville resident Mark Lorenzoni.
Lorenzoni knows all about the Boston Marathon. This is his seventh year leading a pack of local runners to the race. This year, he had 21 runners taking part in the race in a city he's familiar with.
Even more family members tagged along for support.
"We all went out for a long run and a tour of the city and I was commenting. I said, 'This city is the safest feeling city I've ever been in,'" said Lorenzoni.
But that feeling of safety was ripped away after a duo of explosions rocked just steps from the finish line.
"It happened right in front of the grand stand. Right where all the runners and crowds really tighten. Right where the most spectators are. Right where the most volunteers are and right where most of the police are," said Lorenzoni.
And right where Keswick runner John Steele's wife would normally be.
"Usually my wife is always at the finish line. But Boston, because of logistics, she wasn't, so I guess I got a lot to be thankful for," said Steele.
Steele finished the 26.2-mile course before the explosions but said the two blasts shook the bus he was taking back to the starting point after a successful run.
"The race was fantastic. People were incredible and it was just an absolute shame. Beautiful day and terrible way to end the race. Just...just tragic," said Steele.
The University of Virginia's club cross country team also had five members run the race. The group's president, Ian Van Der Hoven, says all members finished the race before the blasts and are okay.