Local runners describe terror in Boston - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Local runners describe terror in Boston

Frank Webb completed the Boston Marathon Monday and was just one block away when the explosion occurred. Frank Webb completed the Boston Marathon Monday and was just one block away when the explosion occurred.
BOSTON, MA (KLTV) -

Two East Texans were in Boston on Monday for the Boston Marathon when two explosions rocked the city, sending runners and spectators alike scrambling to safety. 

UT Tyler senior Javi Arista was visiting his sister in Boston on Monday and decided to go watch the end of the race. Just moments before the explosion, they had been standing right at the finish line. 

"We started walking up the street and no more than fifteen seconds later, the explosive goes off," said Arista. "It just shakes everything. It just hit me to a point, the sound felt like it went through my body, It was that loud."

Arista describes the scene as "chaos." 

"I really was confused on what was going on," Arista said. "I was actually really scared. It wasn't until I stopped running and I just sat down in the garden that I realized what had happened. I was just in shock. My body was in shock, my mind was in shock and I was just really trying to put it together."

He says it was just by chance they had decided to start heading from the marathon to the Boston Public Library at that moment.

"If my sister didn't tell me, 'Hey, let's keep walking,' it could have hit us right then and there," he said. "I am just grateful. I was saying my prayers."

Tyler resident Frank Webb ran in the marathon, finishing with his personal best time at three hours and eight minutes. 

"We went up to our hotel one block away from the finish line to take a quick shower after the race," Webb said. "There are other local people from the Tyler area that were running the race and we were headed down to try and see some of them finish.

While on the 36th floor of their hotel, Webb said he and his wife heard the blasts.

"The first bang happened and to me it sounded like when a dumpster is being emptied at a grocery store and they bang it to get everything out," Webb said. "Then we heard the second one. We knew that something wasn't right. We stepped off the elevator into the lobby and there were just people running, crying and moving very fast. Very expressionless. Trauma on their face. Disbelief."

Webb said he has no doubt Boston will recover from the tragedy.

"This city stands for freedom in a lot of ways," he said. "A lot of it began here. There's resilience. There's a lot of anger towards the people or person that did this. There's a lot of talk that Boston will get through this, that their people will get through this."

Webb has run 25 marathons in his life, including three Boston marathons. He says as long as his legs allow him, he'll be back again next year.

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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