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Back home, area runners recount marathon bomb experience

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- In the wake of the marathon bombing runners from New Hanover County are back from Boston.

Eleven marathoners from around the area took part in the race. After all that's happened, several we spoke with say they are glad to be home.

One runner says it was spooky to have everything take place in front of his hotel.

"Where I had been the day before... I'd been in those spots," Tom Porter said. "That's right near the finish line, where people were celebrating and cheering everyone on. It was just very, very upsetting."

Another runner says it was hard for him to grasp there was a terrorist attack. He says his first instinct was that the explosion was a celebratory canon.

"When your mind is really geared to this being a big celebration, a family event, people are all in a good mood," Todd Rodzik said. "To change your mindset like that is very difficult, so it's frankly still sinking in."

Another participant says he was next to the finish line when the bomb went off. He says he was surrounded by thousands of people, so he did not realize how bad it was.

"I could only hear the one bomb," Charles Buckland said. "I didn't realize there was a second bomb, and you just saw a massive plume of smoke and obviously a loud bang. Everyone was dead silent for a while."

Runners and spectators say this will not stop them from participating in other marathons.

"We go back," said Bobby Brandon, a spectator at the race. "We don't run. We don't hide. I will definitely go back and support it."

Buckland says the bombing will always be in the back of his mind. He says timing is everything, and he is grateful he managed to make it across the finish line before it happened.

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