Houstonians who attended the marathon as observers and runners are still in shock. Several didn't know this had happened until they had finished the race and left the immediate area. while for the slower runners, it was a very close call.
They went to Boston with either dreams of setting a personal best record or watching a loved one or a friend.
Members of our own Olympic committee who attend most major marathons were there to watch everything go smoothly and learn lessons to use in future events. Then two explosions ten seconds apart changed it all.
People describe chaos, people running in fear, bloodied, injured, ambulance after ambulance passing by, sirens and screams. The images we are seeing are horrific enough, but those who were there say it is sanitized compared to what actually took place.
The nature of the traumatic injuries to people's lower extremities were severe and visible. And because of the number of people and the lack of transportation, there was no escape from witnessing it all.
One Houstonian there to observe the marathon saw the carnage that was concentrated in the stands by the finish line, and said it will be difficult to get those images out of her head.
"A lot of limbs torn off, smoke just a lot of traumatized people," said eyewitness Carol Kirshon. "Police were telling us, 'Run, run, get out of the city and leave.' But there were no cabs, there was nothing. I can still smell the air."
One thing we are hearing time and again is that people expect attacks at the Olympic Games, but never at a marathon. Still, all of them said they would attend or run in another race.
Take ABC13 with you!
Download our free apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices