Quad City runner Patches Breed arrived home from Boston Tuesday afternoon, safe and sound and grateful for her best time ever at the marathon. If she had ran the same time she did two years ago, she may have wound up at the finish line and in harm's way.
"When the bombs went off, I was already at the hotel. This was my best one. In 2011, I would have been right there, this time I was back at the hotel safe," Breed said moments after getting off the plane at the Quad Cities International Airport.
"It's just devastating, sad, it's absolutely heart-wrenching," she said.
On the same plane, Josh Sherwood, a St. Ambrose University graduate, who now lives in Quincy. He and his former coach were about two blocks away from the blast.
"The fact I was just there 15 to 20 minutes prior, I was crossing that finish line," Sherwood said. "It is really sad. The panic on everybody's face, nobody knew what to do or where to go. My family and all my friends, my phone and Facebook, everything started blowing up, trying to get a hold of me."
Assistant St. Ambrose track coach Corey Towle and Sherwood were both headed toward their hotel when the bombs went off.
"It kind of reminded me of a disaster movie. To me it sounded like something collapsed. I was thinking the bleachers collapsed," Towle said.
"They closed down the front of the hotel where we were staying and we had to leave out of an emergency exit in the back, because it was two blocks away from the explosion," he said.
All three say they will return to the marathon next year, if they qualify.
"I'm not going let that hold me back from going to Boston," said Sherwood.
"They have to know they haven't won," Breed said.