Local runners return from Boston changed

Runners Return from Boston to Birmingham/CBS 42

[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16×9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1366253366&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&show_title=1&va_id=4020536&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1366253366 type=script]BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – We are getting first hand reports from Alabama runners who returned home from Boston Tuesday.

From everything we’ve gathered there are no reports of any local runners hurt in the blasts.  The experience is still something that will change them forever.

We’re hearing about what they saw, what they felt, and how it will shape their mentality from now on.

You can’t just show up and run in the Boston marathon. You have to qualify. Local runners who made the trek were riding high after making it to the finish line. It was later that the horror set in.

“A sense of patriotism and you now just freedom and exhilaration of finishing a great accomplishment of running a marathon and uh you know this mayhem ensues after that,” said Owen Bradley.

“And all of a sudden we find out that tragedy had happened and it just breaks your heart. I mean I thought about all the spectators and you know the strollers and all the, the kids and everything that we saw along the route,” said Jeff Perry.

The way they look at running in these events has changed, but their love of the sport endures.

“I don’t think it’s going to deter me from doing other races. I’ll definitely be on more guard and you know keep a watchful eye of things and I think it’s just unfortunately the state of the world we live in today. You really can’t relax at any point and time,” said Bradley.

“And to stand up and just to say you know this is something that we love. It’s bigger than us as individuals by far. And you know I will go back as I said next year- to support that race, that community, and all the people that put it on,” said Perry.

In the immediate aftermath of the blasts, Perry says the emergency responders in Boston were incredible.

“I used to be a paramedic in the Atlanta area and so you know just having a little bit of knowledge about the training and some of the stuff that they go and I, I really had an appreciation for that. They, they saved a lot of people I think from getting hurt worse in just in…in different ways and certainly the panic. They took control of the situation and handled it very well,” said Perry.

Airports were on high alert Tuesday. There were scares at Logan Airport in Boston and LaGuardia Airport in New York.

We contacted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to see if there were heightened security measures at airports in the southeast as well.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano issued the following statement:

“Yesterday afternoon, two explosive devices detonated in Boston, Mass., killing three and wounding over 150 people. We continue to keep those affected by this tragedy in our thoughts and prayers, especially the families and loved ones of those lost or injured. I spoke earlier today to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Tom Menino, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis as well as Members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation-including Senators Elizabeth Warren and William Cowan, and Representatives Mike Capuano, Bill Keating, Stephen Lynch, Ed Markey, and John Tierney. I reiterated the Department of Homeland Security’s support to the FBI-led investigation and the Administration’s commitment to bringing whoever committed this act of terror to justice. While there is no current indication to suggest that the events in Boston are indicative of a broader plot, out of an abundance of caution, DHS continues to keep in place enhanced security measures at transportation hubs, utilizing measures both seen and unseen. We continue to urge the American public to remain vigilant and immediately report any signs of suspicious activity to local law enforcement officials.”

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