Boston Marathon runner returns to Bainbridge - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Boston Marathon runner returns to Bainbridge

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Pauncho Hufstetler Pauncho Hufstetler
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BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) -

The Boston Marathon tragedy touched all parts of the world, including south Georgia.

Many runners who made the trip are on their way home, and others are already back.

One Bainbridge runner tells us if not for his wife, he may not have made it back.

After Pauncho Hufstetler finished Monday's race around 1:30, he and his wife were discussing where to eat lunch.

"My idea was to stay somewhere around there and eat and thankfully my wife suggested we go back to the hotel so I can get a shower and there was a mall right across the way from our hotel which is where we ate," said Hufstetler.

Hufstetler says he and his wife were in the dark about the bombings, when their phones started ringing off the hook.

"We were at The Cheesecake Factory there in Cambridge when everyone's phones started going crazy asking if we were ok and we had no idea what was happening because we weren't watching the news. We were just trying to get some lunch."

Hufstetler says even after he qualified for the race, he still wasn't totally convinced about making the trip.

"Didn't really know immediately I was going to run Boston, but some time went by and I thought more about it. My wife and I went to Boston and we enjoyed the trip and I qualified to go. So I signed up and off we went."

But he says this experience would not prevent him from running again.

"I don't think this would stop me from going back, but it's really just a shame because for the people who haven't been it's hard to describe how supportive the people of New England are for the 27 or so thousand runners."

Hufstetler says while Monday night's airport experience was smoother than he expected, getting to the airport was another story.

"We could've made it from our hotel on a couple of the different T lines out to the airport, but one of the stops was going to be a little bit closer to that finish line area than we were comfortable going. So we took a more expensive cab ride."

Hufstetler says with the amount of SWAT teams and security personnel present, he did feel safe before, during, and even after the race.

Officials say in the aftermath of yesterday's bombings, security will be heightened for the upcoming Kentucky Derby, Indy 500, and other large sporting events.

 

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