Tampa Bay area runners share details from Boston explosion - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Bay area runners share details from Boston explosion

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Dozens of Tampa area runners made the trip to Boston to run one of the world's most famous marathons.  The stories they are sharing now are not the ones they expected to share.

Lois Waite, 45, of Tampa says it was her sixth time running the Boston marathon and she was already back in her hotel room when she heard the explosion.  At first she didn't know what it was, perhaps a car accident or something but then she turned on the news and found out quickly what was unfolding.

Waite says given the volume of people and the scope of the outdoor event, she's not sure how authorities could prevent something like this from happening. "It makes me think twice about coming back.  I have a husband and children and there are other, safer ways, to get exercise."

Susan Deskins of Tampa had just finished the race and she was getting her medal when she heard the explosion.  She thought an electrical transformer had blown until she heard the second explosion then she knew something was terribly wrong.

"They shut down the subway so I walked the two miles back to my hotel room," said Deskins.  "It was a chaotic scene."

Richard Gonzmart, the owner of the Columbia Restaurant in Tampa was to be in Boston taking part in the race but tore his Achilles and didn't make the trip.  "My brother sent me a picture from the finish line right before the explosion wanting to show me how exciting it was to be at the finish line." Gonzmart says only a few minutes later, he heard the news of the explosions.

Gonzmart's brother Casey and his wife, Dr. Heidi Attar-Gonzmart, who both ran in the marathon are safe and were not injured.

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