Local runners return from Boston

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Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins

PADUCAH, Ky. - Traveling back to town was easier than Ken Hunt and Steve Powless thought it was going to be, especially after they spent the night in a hotel surrounded by National Guard members in the heart of Boston.

But as they made their way, both said the emotions of what they saw and heard during the Boston Marathon followed them. Both we're pulled off the course after the explosions and spent frantic moments trying to find their family and friends. Powless was only half a mile away from the finish line.

"All the sudden the runners just stopped," he said. "Everybody just stopped in the street and you saw them backing up." Because he was wearing headphones, he said he didn't hear the bombs go off. But he did get a text message from his son who was with his daughter at the finish line.

Once he knew they were safe his attention turned to his friends still on the course behind him. As he made his way to the hotel he sent a text message to Hunt.

"It (his phone) started buzzing just going off continuously about mile 23.5," said Hunt.

By then, the news was spreading fast and police had already barricaded the course. At mile 25, he was rerouted to a church where authorities told him a bus would come shuttle him back.

While he waited he tried to get ahold of his wife, who was supposed to be at the finish line waiting for him. She too, was safe. She was making her way to their meeting spot when others started running in the other direction and told her what had happened.

Hunt decided not to wait for the bus and took off walking. It took him more than two hours, but he finally made it and was reunited with his friends and family.

While both runners are disappointed they didn't get to finish what they started, they said the spirit of the run didn't die that day and they know the city of Boston will recover.

"They've certainly been knocked down by this, but they won't be down long," said Powless. "They'll come back."
 

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