Local runners who participated in Monday's Boston Marathon are beginning to return to Eastern Carolina.
At least 20 people from the east participated in the marathon, and so far there have been no reports of any local injuries.
Lucien Vaughn from New Bern arrived back at the Raleigh-Durham Airport this morning from Boston. "Having run the Boston Marathon, you want to be happy. But it is bittersweet, very bittersweet. It is very sad," said Vaughn. "Prayers go out to all the families, friends and loved ones involved."
Charlie "Choo" Justice is an assistant cross country coach at D.H. Conley High School in Pitt County. Justice told WITN News that he was several blocks away at a subway station when the first explosion happened. "Immediately they sealed off the area and sealed the area and routed the runners to a different location and basically stopped the race," said Justice.
This was the third Boston Marathon for the track coach. "The good thing is there were a lot of medical personnel on hand already so they were able to attend to those folks pretty quickly," said Justice.
James Gilreath of Manteo is another local runner. The woman watching his children in Manteo told us he too is okay, finishing the race just before the explosion.
Race statistics show that Kay Evans from Chocowinity finished the race about an hour before the blasts. Tara Carter runs with Evans and calls her a local running hero. "It's very disappointing that something like this would occur. It's such a celebratory type of event, and something like this is such a tragedy. So obviously, we hope and pray she's okay," Carter told WITN.
We've been able to track 13 runners from our region as finishing the race safely. We are working to track down additional information.
Relatives may have a difficult time reaching those in the race. A law enforcement official says cell phone service has been shut down in the area to prevent any potential remote detonations of explosives, while others say calls are getting through and that the system is just overloaded.