Tampa runner heard the explosions from a half-mile away - FOX 13 News

Tampa runner heard the explosions from a half-mile away

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Runners and spectators from all over the world got a first hand look at the attack at the Boston Marathon Monday.

Many of the runners were from Florida -- 591, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

Jan Valle of Tampa wasn't too far from finishing when she said something very odd happened on the route.

"All of a sudden we're running and all of these people are stopping and just milling around," Valle said.

She said she wasn't close enough to see or hear the two separate blasts.

That wasn't the case for her boyfriend Mike Grundell. He says he was about a half a mile from the finish line waiting for Jan when explosions rocked the historic race.

"Everybody became completely silent, there was several thousand people there not doing or saying a thing," Grundell said.

He says when he heard the first blast, he thought it was sound from a nearby construction site.

That changed when he heard the second blast.

"About 15 seconds later another blast hit and it was pretty evident it wasn't something going on at a construction site," Grundell said.

Grundell says his mind went immediately to Jan, who luckily escaped injury.

Now the pair will try to get home to Tampa as soon as possible while wondering how something so horrible could have happened during such a joyous event.

"It's just completely and totally bizarre that we got people running around that would do that sort of thing," Grundell said.

Runners will tell you finishing a marathon is an exhilarating feeling like no other.

That feeling of accomplishment turned to horror for many after two bombs went off at the Boston Marathon Monday.

"It went from being an energetic, happy excited crowd, you know everybody cheering and screaming to dead silence. You could hear a pin drop," said Boston Marathon runner Jill Kralovanec of Tampa.

Gail Norman of Tampa had just finished the race when the bombs went off.

"I was looking back towards the finish line and all of a sudden saw a big explosion and a big cloud of white smoke and shortly after a second one," said Norman. "It was a very loud explosion, it sounded like a cannon going off, it was very loud."

Luckily Norman was not injured.

Kralovanec is another Tampa runner who made the trip north for the race.

"I had finished just ten minutes before they went off," said Kralovanec.

She also escaped injury but hours after the race she was still thrown by the events of the day.

"I'm still kind of in shock, I don't know that it has really hit me," said Kralovanec.

Both runners will be back in Florida Tuesday and will be happy to be home for sure.

And while they are saddened by what the FBI is calling a terror attack at least one runner says it won't keep her from returning to Boston for another 26.2 miles in the future.

"It would not prevent me form coming back again to the city or to do the race," said Kralovanec.

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