Ga. participants in Boston Marathon arrive home - New York News

Ga. participants in Boston Marathon arrive home

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ATLANTA -

More than 300 Georgians who ran in the Boston Marathon began returning home late Monday with stories of the deadly explosions.

Twin bombs at the Boston Marathon on Monday killed three people and injured dozens more. The FBI is taking charge of the investigation, calling the blasts an "act of terror."

Some Georgia participants in the marathon wore their jackets and medals in tribute as they arrived home at Hartsfield-Jackson airport.

"I want to honor those who weren't able to finish. I also want to remember those who are injured, and the three people we know about that died," said Mike Wien.

Emotions were high for those returning and loved ones waiting at the airport.

"I feel bad for all of the people who went for this wonderful experience and had this horrible tragedy," said Betty Fendrick.

Fendrick waited anxiously at Hartsfield-Jackson airport for her daughter Michelle, who ran the Boston Marathon. She recalls the frantic moments after hearing of the bomb blasts.

"My daughter, I knew she had already finished the race. But it's horrifying that you can't get in touch with anybody. She didn't have a phone," Fendrick said.  

"It's a pretty grueling amazing race and for the day to end like this, it's hard to even figure out what to say," said runner Michelle Frank.  

Once back on the ground in Atlanta, Frank talked about how quickly a day of fun and triumph became an awful memory. She says she made it home only because she got out of her hotel in Boston before it, and much of the downtown area, was locked down.

"You want to rehash the race, but the pain I'm feeling right now doesn't matter because there's people not alive and there's people who lost their legs," Frank said.

Runner Stacey Floyd finished the 26.2 mile course before the bombs detonated, but experienced the ensuing chaos. She described the conditions around the finish line as "crazy" and "scary."

"Just very surreal. You know, we're fortunate to be able to race and do all of this and really unfortunate that somebody would decide to make a terrorist attack on such a positive event," said marathoner Jamie Witter.

Jamie's husband Jeff says after he heard the second explosion, he knew "something was wrong."

Marathoner Mark Coughlin says the explosions are a big letdown. "It's so sad. It's the type of event where you would think something like this would never happen and it just ruined the event. Everybody just feels so bad for the families of the people who were injured and killed, it makes no sense."

More than 360 Georgians were among the runners in Boston for the marathon. Some returning from Boston say they are uncertain they'll compete in another large sporting event again after Monday's tragedy, but others said they're more determined than ever to run again.

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