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Local runners witness Boston explosions

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- At least 18 people from this area traveled to Boston for the marathon.
All of them are okay.

Channel 3's Christina Leavenworth caught up with some of them minutes after the news broke.

It was a day they were looking forward to for a long time, the opportunity to run in the Boston Marathon.

This is the Running Wild group from  Pensacola smiling before the race began, never expecting a terrorist attack.

Brian Spencer, Pensacola City Council
"You could sense the way of what was elation for all of the runners who had completed the race and it so quickly shifted to one of just shock and now sadness."

The local runners were about a quarter mile away from the explosions. They quickly made sure to reach loved ones here and let everyone know they were OK.

Paul Epstein, owner, Running Wild
"There were thousands and thousands of spectators and participants on the streets and we heard people saying "bomb" and we heard a few other saying we saw it on TV ...There were bombs on the finish line and that's what it sounded like."

Brian Spencer, Pensacola City Council
"There's nothing quite as rich in race history as the Boston Marathon, so it has put a pall over the city."

It was tough for friends and family watching it all unfold live on TV. Employees at Running Wild were emotional when they heard the news.

And for those who ran the race, the reality of what happened is still hitting them.

Brian Spencer, Pensacola City Council
"It's just hard to fathom how anyone could prey on innocent people that now are victims...."

The group is traveling home tomorrow and should arrive sometime in the evening definitely looking forward to being back in Pensacola. Reporting live, Christina Leavenworth, Channel 3 News.