YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Matthew Paullin, a YSU grad and marathon runner crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2 hours and 41 minutes; more than one hour before the bombs went off killing 3 and wounding more than 170 others.
Paullin's sister-in-law Brandy Kelly Gilea says from the hotel you could see mass chaos, police, ambulances and people everywhere.
"The news headlines kept saying they were looking for more bombs and they were checking hotels and it was scary. You almost felt like a sitting duck. Like is there one in our hotel? Where do we go? We were on lock down," Gilea said.
Gilea from Canfield, her mom from Boardman, went to Boston to cheer on her sister Jamie's husband. Paullin's mom and sister were there for the same reason. Paullin feels blessed his family is safe.
"When I crossed the finish line, my family was standing right next to the spot where the first explosion happened," Paullin said.
They wonder what happened to the mother who was waiting for her daughter to cross the finish line at about the four hour mark when the explosions took place.
The family says those who died and are wounded are in their prayers. Paullin tells 21 News the Boston Marathon has gone on since 1897, survived World Wars I and II and the Great Depression and he is glad it will continue next year.
He and his wife Jamie, both marathon runners say they refuse to run away from living life.
"We are going to continue to run and continue to live and I think a lot of people are," Paullin said.