By Jim Melwert
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Monday’s bombing of the Boston Marathon finish line was weighing heavily on the minds of runners and spectators passing through 30th Street Station on their way home from Boston.
Three people died in the explosions, yesterday afternoon, and at least 140 people were injured.
A couple runners and some spectators coming back home Tuesday morning on an overnight Amtrak train were struggling with the emotions of yesterday. The joy of the race, coupled with the unthinkable tragedy — as one person put it, even survivor’s guilt.
Melinda Hill, from Wynnewood, Pennsylvania was there to support her twin sister, who had worked for four years to finally qualify for Boston and had just finished the marathon, a few minutes before the blasts.
“You know the euphoria, ‘oh my God, she finished!’ You know, ‘great!’ Congratulating everybody. And then it’s gone. And so, she had all these mixed feelings, because you know this was her first Boston Marathon. She worked for four years to qualify for that and so it was really — you know, how do you feel? Because, it’s a tragedy, but so many people have worked just to get to that point.”
And Hill says it affects her going forward, “this was my experience. I hadn’t qualified yet for Boston, because you have to run so fast to get in and that was my dream. I was there to support her and now I’m like, you know…”
Amid the awful and the unthinkable, we’re starting to hear stories of people coming together to help. Alain Ouilikon, arriving in Philadelphia this morning on an overnight train from Boston, ran the marathon yesterday, he finished about an hour before the blasts, but he shared a story of a runner who – after the race – couldn’t find his wife, cell service wasn’t working, he couldn’t get in touch with her, but people around him heard his problem, and Ouilikon says everyone around this guy got the number, and started trying to help him get a text through to his wife:
“They just all stuck together with him, everybody starting to text at the same time, and finally one text went through. And then he was able to find his wife. So imagine that, people from all over – from Chicago from Portland, Oregon, they don’t want to move until he found he wife.”
Runners say they’re wearing blue and yellow today, the colors of the marathon in support of the victims.
Other runners say this will make them think about running the big races, but they’re not focusing on the negative. Instead, they’re looking at the positive, recalling how so many people rushed to help the injured.