More than 2,000 runners from the tristate New York area were registered to run the Boston Marathon. Countless more were spectators in Boston to cheer them on.
Many of them have stories about how they made it through the chaos and found their loved ones. The memories of the tragedy are still very fresh in their minds.
Jim McQuade, a Manhattan lawyer, ran the marathon. He said he heard young children crying, probably waiting for one of their parents to come through. He had finished the race and was on his way to meet up with friends near the finish line when he heard the explosions. One after the other
"For me the only thing it could have been was a bomb," he said. "I could see the smoke and after the second explosion occurred, people started running."
McQuade was in Boston with a dozen fellow members of the Central Park Track Club, none of whom were injured. He likened the scene on the streets of Boston to the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in New York.
"It was the same experience, a very similar experience on the streets of Boston because you had lots of family members who are assembled by the finish line and they didn't come through," he said.
Linda Ottaviano was one of those people frantically searching for a loved one after the blasts went off. The Cold Spring Harbor resident was at this race to cheer on a good friend. She had no way of reaching or finding that friend in the chaotic aftermath.
"and then about two and a half hours after she was supposed to finish she came into the hotel and obviously we hugged each other, we cried, we were very happy to see each other," Ottaviano said.
Right after that Ottaviano and her friend drove right back to New York, she said.
"It still seems almost like a dream, very surreal," she said.
Rabbi Scott Weiner of New Rochelle had already finished the race when he heard the blasts.
"The rabbi part of me went into action as soon as it happened," he said. Weiner, a member of a group known as the running rabbis, turned to a frantic woman who had just finished running the race and couldn't find her father, a volunteer.
"She couldn't find him, she was totally distraught so I stayed with her, counseled her until they were able to reconnect," he said.
McQuade, Weiner, and Ottaviano (who didn't run this year but has run the race before), said that what happened will not deter them from running in other marathons or running Boston again.