SCRANTON — Dozens of runners from our area competed in the Boston Marathon and many of them returned Tuesday focused on the aftermath of the deadly bombings.
Newswatch 16 spoke with two runners from Lackawanna County. One of them crossed the finish line only minutes before the explosions.
Both are very experienced marathon runners. They’ve crossed the finish line on North Washington Avenue for the Steamtown Marathon in the past. They said the physical pain they felt after running 26 miles Monday in Boston is no comparison to the emotional pain they felt today.
Leo Turissini is from the Montdale area. He has run a dozen marathons and his first Boston Marathon was supposed to be his crowning achievement. He did it, finishing in just under four hours. But minutes after he crossed the finish line, he heard a huge bang.
“I look back and I see the finish line, just all smoke and I was worried about her but I knew that she was on the other side of the street.”
His concern was for his wife Patti who sat on the left side of the finish line all day waiting for Leo to run by. Patti says she had just gotten up from her seat and was less than 50 feet away from the first explosion.
“Very, very scary. It just was a huge explosion. I don’t know how else to explain it. Smoke everywhere and as I said, about 10 seconds later more smoke, people screaming, crying, running, very scary,” recalled Patti Turissini.
The Turissinis returned to their home in Scott Township as soon as the highways out of Boston opened up. They are very thankful that Leo ran at the pace he did, just missing the blasts but they are thinking about the others who weren’t as lucky.
“Yesterday I was still sort of excited about the marathon and finishing, today it’s started sinking in a little more, especially when you see the little kids,” said Leo.
“It’s harder today. I think yesterday was all about getting our children out safely and reuniting with our other two that stayed here. Today it’s hitting me that it’s really tragic,” said Leslie Moran of Scranton.
Moran made her third trip over the finish line in Boston and didn’t know there had been an explosion until her family got back to their hotel. Then they rushed out of the city before streets were shut down.
At first, Moran says she felt shock. Now, more sadness that such a tragedy happened here.
“I can’t imagine it turning into a scene of horror like it did for so many yesterday.”
As far as we know, none of the runners from our area who competed in Monday’s marathon were among those injured. Officials in Boston say that number is now close to 200 people.