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HAYS, Kansas — Two Kansas runners who took part in the Boston Marathon are back home in Hays.
“It’s the pinnacle of running events,” said Doug Williams about the 26.2 mile race.
“An honor to be able to qualify and go so, yeah, we were excited,” said Marian Lindberg.
But the excitement quickly faded. Seven minutes after Marian completed the race behind Doug, the finish line turned to police tape.
“I was waiting in the finish area, waiting for her to finish, and then when we were working our way out of the finish area when the bombs went off,” said Doug.
“Heard the explosion and turned around and saw all the smoke,” said Marian. “And the silence you could just hear. I mean the cheering crowds were so loud at the finish line and then all of sudden everything was just quiet.”
The two were about 300 feet from the bombs as chaos ensued.
They reunited with Marian’s husband Glyn, who was there for support. He was unsure of what he heard and felt.
“It really sunk in five or 10 minutes later when all the ambulances, I saw an FBI guy pull up, get out and get his gear out,” said Glyn Lindberg.
The three from Hays were unharmed and were eventually allowed into their hotel later that night. They were shocked and yet in awe of all the help they saw that day.
“You see the best and the worst,” said Doug. “I mean you see the worst in the event and what these people did, but you also see the best in people willing to put themselves at risk, the first responders.”
The runners and their families say they will never forget the bombings, but they won’t let it keep them from doing what they love most.
“I think it’s letting them win,” said Marian.
“I have no doubt that next year’s Boston Marathon will be the biggest and best ever really,” said Doug.