Another Pacific Palisadian running in Monday's Boston Marathon, like counterpart marathon veteran Ken Heisz, finished the race early and was back in his hotel room when the bombs exploded at the finish line.
Sean Whiteley, 37 and chief operating officer of the Santa Monica-based medical web communication company TigerText, was one of 11 Palisadians to run in the 2013 Boston Marathon.
"I've been running for about seven years, Whiteley told Patch Friday. "Going to Boston, this is a dream race."
He finished the marathon in three hours and 25 minutes and then went back to the Hotel Commonwealth, which is about a mile from the finish line. Whiteley came to Boston with his wife Joy. It was there Whiteley received his first call from a friend in L.A. congratulating him on finishing the race.
"I was in the hotel room. People were saying 'congrats' and then asked, 'did you hear the bomb?'" he said.
Whiteley and his wife watched television in the room and then headed downstairs. The Hotel Commonwealth is on the actual marathon route.
"The streets and restaurant were loaded with people, and then it cleared out," he said.
Unlike Heisz, the Whiteley's did not encounter a huge military presence, but the next day when touring Boston, most of the landmarks and exhibits were closed.
"There were a lot of people walking around and alot of runners stuck there who we talked to," Whiteley said. "It was pretty somber. Before the marathon, people were all about the marathon. After the marathon, it was just about bombs."
The Whiteleys met a couple from Fairfield, CT on Boston's famed "Freedom Trail," who said they were in the middle of the explosions and had to run.
"Her husband was literally positioned between the two bombs," Whiteley said.
If he had the opportunity, Whiteley added he would "definitely" run in the Boston Marathon again.
"People are pretty resilient out there," he said. "They're really good folks."