Chicago runners at Boston Marathon share first-hand accounts - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Chicago runners at Boston Marathon share first-hand accounts

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Sandy Borgman (left) Sandy Borgman (left)
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

There were more than 300 entrants from Chicago running in the Boston Marathon Monday.

Sandy Borgman from Glen Ellyn had already crossed the finish line. She was two blocks away, when suddenly, dozens of people began running for cover.

SEE: Two explosions at Boston Marathon finish line

"The people running from that area did not look like it was something you wanted to check out," Borgman explains.

Ironically, the mother of three had taken a photo with a friend at the finish line last night, just a few feet from where the first explosion took place.

"The worst part for me was waiting to hear that my friends were okay, you know? I had a friend who sent her niece out to cheer me on. I looked back and there was smoke right where she was standing."

That girl was not injured.

Christine Bell from Naperville was also in Boston. She says there was a lot of confusion at first, less than a mile away from the scene.

"We're still running and eventually when the cops started running we knew something's not right and somebody in front started stopping us.

Angi Taylor, morning host of 103.5 KISS FM watched the chaos unfold from her hotel room, located directly across the street from the scene of the blasts. She was in Boston to cheer on her friend running in the marathon, who was not injured.

"I saw facial injuries, I saw blood on faces, I saw people that couldn't walk anymore, medical units that were carrying people on sheets," Taylor says. "The scene on street was chaos…people walking, nobody knowing where to go."

Fleet Feat Sports Chicago trained 87 runners for the marathon. President Dave Zimmer says it took some time, but everyone has been accounted for.

"There was no real way for us to mobilize at that point because we were just waiting for everyone to come back, so we were literally waiting at the hotel waiting for people to come in."

Other local runners who completed the Boston Marathon just arrived back home with stories they will never forget.

"We were literally like right by the finish," runner Brad Moats of Gurnee says. "Right by the windows. The explosion had just gone off. People were running, sprinting back going the other way. There were people running, crying away. Not everyone knew this was chaos because not everyone knew what had happened."

"It was not like fireworks or anything," Andre Bennatan of Lake Forest explains. "Nothing like that."

"People were walking towards the finish saying 'what happened?'" Moats adds. "We said 'a bomb went off, go the other way' and we just ran the other way as far as we could get away and we were able, luckily, to find a cab and I think got the last flight out of Boston."

"Not just the marathon, but any event where there's high public profiling is really going to change the way we approach these things both in security and the participants." Arlington Heights Mayor-elect Tom Hayes says. "Some participants might decide not to run a marathon because of events like this, so it's unfortunate."

Bennatan thought this was going to be his first and only Boston Marathon but now says "I think we all have to run Boston. I mean, we have to support that organization and those people."

Most of the runners say this tragic incident won't stop them from running in their next marathon.

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