WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Local runners said they woke up Monday morning ready to go. Ready for the 26.2 miles ahead of them, filled with excitement and nerves.
“I had worked for a couple years in order to qualify to make it here, and do all the training so I was feeling very excited,” said Thomas Porter, a UNCW professor.
Runners said they put in long hours to prepare for the Boston Marathon, but nothing could have prepared them for what happened Monday afternoon.
“Everybody just stopped when both of the bomb blasts went off and that was it. That was the end of the race,” said Todd Rodzik, a Wilmington Attorney.
The race ended bittersweet for some runners.
"At a time where you expect to be feeling really good about accomplishing an objective, a goal, it doesn't feel right to have those feelings because of tragedy,” said Rodzik.
Rodzik says his hotel was swept for explosives, while Porter's hotel has been evacuated.
“They didn't really give me much time to collect stuff or anything,” Porter said. “They just said the hotel is being evacuated get out."
After learning about the explosions, Sarah Barbee of the Wilmington Road Runners organized a vigil to pray for Boston Monday evening.
She says the 13 Wilmington runners are all safe.
“It's an extreme relief. We have friends in other running clubs in Raleigh and Myrtle Beach, and we are still waiting to hear on them so we are still a little concerned. We do know someone from Myrtle Beach was crossing the finish line as it happened, but seems to be okay,” said Barbee.