Local Boston Marathon runners share their reactions to blasts - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Local Boston Marathon runners share their reactions to blasts

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135 people from South Carolina were signed up to run in the Monday's Boston Marathon. Many runners from the Lowcountry also participated in that race. News 2 spoke to several to hear their reactions to the blasts that have killed at least 3.

Richard Blalock was less than one mile away from the finish line when the blasts went off. This was Blalock's first Boston Marathon. And for the amputee runner, it was supposed to be a day filled with success. Around the 14th mile, Blalock had to stop due to cramping. He said the difficulty he had running may have saved his life.

"At any point had I not stopped and kept running, I could have been closer, no doubt about it... It could have gone either way," Blalock said.

As soon as he realized what was going on, he said he became, "numb, shocked and angry."

"It's just unbelievable," he said. "None of these people did anything to the people who set off these explosives. They were just out there enjoying their day seeing their loved ones finishing one of the greatest races in the world."

Jacob Driggers finished the race about 40 minutes before the explosions. He was in the hotel, about a half of a mile away from the site, when the explosions shook the area. He didn't know what was happening until he checked Twitter and realized what happened.

"I thought I read something wrong and that wasn't what happened because I mean I was just there," Driggers said. "And that image right before the bomb went off of runners finishing is exactly what it looked like an hour earlier after I was finishing."

Driggers said the area where the explosions happened was packed with people cheering on their loved ones. He said folks were jam packed into the area, which was 10 to 15 people deep. He said he couldn't imagine a worst place for the explosions to happen.

"That's what a marathon is about, right? Cheering on your friends and family who are running the race and supporting them," Driggers said. "And at the height of that for a marathoner is the Boston Marathon and at the height of that is the finishing block of the Boston Marathon and that's exactly where it went off."

Bill Rowell, from Mt. Pleasant, was also back in his hotel room when he heard the explosions. He said the explosion shook his hotel. Once he realized the explosions were deadly and not part of the festivities of the marathon, he said he wanted to be sick to his stomach.

Rowell said he and everyone he is with is fine, and they are planning to fly home tomorrow.

According to the runners we talked with, cell phone service is spotty. But they said Logan International Airport is operating normally.

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