Hahira runner in Boston Marathon returns home - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hahira runner in Boston Marathon returns home

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HAHIRA, GA (WALB) -

Sean McConnell and his girlfriend Suzanne Pittman are finally home after two days of traveling from Boston. McConnell raced in the Boston Marathon for his second time Monday. He was just 150 yards away when he heard the bombs explode.

"It's starting to sink in more and more each day with what is happening and when you see the pictures of the people who are missing limbs and things like that, it's a surreal experience to know that you could feel that explosion when people lost their lives," said McConnell.

McConnell finished the race 30 minutes before the first bomb exploded. He was receiving his medal and trying to locate his girlfriend. He says if he would have run any slower, she would have been standing in the bombs path.

"You just never know from day to day. And the families that were surrounding, you know I wonder how many of those people that I had been around for 4.5-5 hours, were affected by it? How many of them were still there waiting for families to cross the finish line," said Pittman.

McConnell says the Boston Marathon is a race that every runner dreams of qualifying for. He hopes this tragedy doesn't discourage anyone from coming back again.

"There's over half a million people that watch this thing. You get to enjoy it for 26.2 miles, but really the last 3 quarters of the mile is what's really special because you can see the finish line and you know your goal is almost being met, and they got robbed of that," said McConnell.

McConnell says the energy of the crowd is why so many people love running in Boston. It's also held on a day that honors the city's history, Patriots Day.

McConnell says he will return next year to race in Boston.

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