Houston runners return from Boston Marathon as 'survivors'

April 16, 2013 8:10:53 AM PDT
More than 200 runners from the greater Houston area took part in the Boston Marathon. We're hearing some of their stories of surviving the horror of the attack.

Well before the explosions in Boston, Michelle Schroeder's husband Steve had finished the marathon. At home near Sugar Land with their three girls, she didn't know it.

"It almost felt like a 9/11 moment for a minute, like you just aren't sure; you don't know what's going on," she said.

Schroeder heard the news and, for close to an hour and a half, she could not reach her husband by phone or text.

"You don't want to think about what your life could maybe possibly be like without them," she said.

Her mind wandered back through their 15 years of marriage, and then forward to what might happen to her and the girls. Then, she received a text. It was Steve, saying he was fine and he finished in just over three hours.

Houston dietician Catherine Kruppa also finished before the blasts. She had just walked out of her hotel when she heard the explosions a few blocks away.

"It sounded like thunder, but we knew it wasn't thunder because it was beautiful day," Kruppa said. "Not a cloud in the sky."

She wasn't sure at first what to make of it. An otherwise perfect day, she notes, forever marred by whoever is responsible for the attacks.

"It was really hard for us to even comprehend at that point that this would happen at the Boston Marathon," Kruppa said.

Late Monday night, the first local runners landed in Houston. Those we spoke to at Bush Intercontinental Airport said no one should ever forget this tragedy and the innocent people who were killed without warning or provocation. "It was unfortunate," returning marathoner Eddie Carson said. "Very disappointing to know that there are people in this world that suck this bad that would do something this awful."

One thing you didn't hear a lot about amongst runners Monday was their times. Finishing times pale in comparison to the tragedy that unfolded in Boston.

Find Kevin on Facebook at ABC13KevinQuinn or on Twitter at @kquinn001
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