Hoosier runners grateful to return home after Boston Marathon tragedy
Marathons are typically memorable events for runners and spectators alike, but Monday's tragedy in Boston - now being investigated as an act of terrorism by the FBI - was memorable in a way no one wanted it to be.
Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 were wounded in Monday's bombing at the famous marathon's finish line in Copley Square.
As the investigation continues into the deadly bombing at the Boston Marathon, many of the 280 Hoosiers who took part in Monday's race are returning home.
Matt Luce's mother and grandparents awaited his flight at Indianapolis International Airport.
His mother, Debbie Luce said it's been a tense 24 hours for the family.
"It was tense wondering how he was doing. Then he finished [the race] and everything else happened," she said.
Matt arrived with several other runners, glad to be back home. It was his tenth marathon and first Boston Marathon. He finished before the explosions. He was safe but still shaken.
"We were back in the hotel room. I'd just taken a shower and turned on the TV, saw what happened, watched the news for a little while and couldn't really watch it anymore because it was heavy, heavy stuff. They showed pictures of the sidewalk where it happened and I just didn't really want to see that," said Luce.
Mark Glover, Fishers, returned on the same flight.
Glover said, "I was lucky enough to have run quick enough to get by it. But I had just gone by that area coming in from my run."
Like Luce, Glover had trained hard to qualify for the prestigious race. Crossing the finish line should have been the memory of a lifetime. Instead he could only think of those killed and hurt.
"It was a little disheartening where you just ran past those stands because somebody blew them up. And now someone's son is gone. So I'm happy to be home with my son," said Glover.
Still, both he and Luce said they wouldn't hesitate to run the Boston Marathon again.
Marathon runner Stephanie Bartley also returned to Indianapolis Tuesday. She said she was never so glad to get home and see her husband and dog, after what she witnessed in Boston.
"I don't think anybody will ever forget where they were and what they were doing when it happened," said Bartley.
Any other time, the shirt Bartley was wearing as she walked through the Indianapolis International Airport, would have been considered a badge of pride.
"It's a huge honor to be able to be a part of the Boston Marathon," explained Bartley.
This year, though, wearing a Boston Marathon t-shirt meant even more. It was a badge of courage.
"Regardless of what happened and what unfolded, this is still and always will be a badge of pride," Bartley said, looking down at her yellow shirt.
Bartley had just finished the race and was a block away when the explosions happened.
"I heard both of the blasts and, at the time, nobody knew what was going on. Actually, everybody kind of really dismissed it," she remembered.
She and friends who ran the race, didn't know how bad it was until she heard from her husband Ben via telephone.
"He was feeding me information and it was, you know, it was a lot more comforting knowing that the friends that I did come with were sitting next to me," said Bartley. "I'm just really fortunate to be coming back."
What happened in Boston, however, won't stop Bartley from running The Boston Marathon or other races again.
"I think we may actually see more people at the big marathons," explained Bartley.
If not, Bartley said, that would show whoever did this had won.
Meantime, President Barack Obama says the explosions at the Boston Marathon are being investigated as an act of terror, although authorities still don't know who is responsible.
He called the bombing "a heinous and cowardly act" used to target innocent civilians.
Obama spoke to reporters at the White House after a briefing by his national security team. He ordered flags at the White House and all government buildings to be flown at half-staff. Obama signed a proclamation making the order Tuesday morning, calling it a "mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence."
Obama has ordered flags at the White House and all government buildings to be flown at half-staff.
Obama signed a proclamation making the order Tuesday morning, calling it a "mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence."