DANIA BEACH (CBS4) - Scores of South Florida runners are returning home telling harrowing stories of the bomb explosions at the Boston Marathon.
“I’m so grateful that I was with my kids because if it had been five minutes earlier, I wouldn’t have been back with them,” said Caryn Lubetsky.
CBS4 spoke with Lubetsky at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport just as she arrived from Boston with her three sons in tow.
“Knowing an 8 year old was killed and my son is 8 years old, people were calling me,” said Lubetsky fighting back tears.
Her 8 year old son Davis heard the bomb explosion and described it as the sound of Godzilla.
“I heard the bomb go off and I heard screams,” said Davis. “The worst thing is my dad was where the bomb went off but we left before the bomb happened.”
Caryn Lubetsky says they saw the worst and best of humanity because so many people offered to help.
“But the worst thing is what my kids saw,” said Lubetsky. “I can’t take that back,”
Marathoners say the race is such an accomplishment and exhilarating experience and they regret that so much of the joy was lost in the tragedy.
Erica Flaks who lives in Boca Raton told CBS4 “I can’t begin to describe what the end is like. The joy, camaraderie and happiness beyond excitement and then someone blows up a bomb, it is just beyond belief.”
Members of a Fort Lauderdale runner’s club showed up at the airport with balloons for Gold Goudarzi, who was deeply satisfied Monday morning to be running in her first Boston Marathon.
“I was at the start line thinking to myself, ‘I’m here. Shortly I will start the race. Nothing can go wrong,’” she said. “I never thought about something like that could happen.”
Gouldarzi said she was running with a partner who urged her to go faster. She wonders what would have happened if she had taken his advice.
“Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that I was with him,” she said. “If I was very close to that finish line with that chaos, I don’t know what would I do?”
Marathoner Seth Waller from Lake Worth said he tried to help those in need.
“There was an older lady who was hysterical trying to find her husband who was in the race,” Waller said. “We calmed her down, gave her my cellphone so we could connect those two.”
He also said he is anxious to learn who could commit such a heinous crime on a day of such celebration.
“You just can’t believe such a joyous occasion that somebody had the audacity to do something like this. And why?” he wondered. “Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that I was with him. if I was very close to that finish line…with that chaos, I don’t know what would I do?”
Leah Beth Allekian, who lives in Boston and flew into the airport to begin a vacation with her family, said she was just one half mile from the finish line of the marathon when she was stopped in her tracks and had to end her time on the course.
“I was nervous my family was supposed to meet me at the finish line. So when I saw them I just sat down and cried,” Allekian said.
Allekian told CBS4’s Joan Murray that she will compete again next year.
“We’ll be back,” said Allekian. “One person out there isn’t going to stop that.”