People here in the valley reacted to the tragic news of the Boston Marathon explosions Monday, especially the running community.
People were glued to the coverage at places like Tangible Fitness and Runner's Den, both in Phoenix. Runners and trainers we talked to knew several people who ran the marathon, and are hoping for everyone's safe return.
"It was painful," said Don Robinson, a trainer at Tangible Fitness. He and the rest of the gym's members and employees were glued to the TV, wanting to know the very latest.
"In this valley, we've got a lot of marathon runners," Robinson said. He said some of their clients ran the race. He's concerned about their safety, and also about the spectators who only wanted to see their loved ones accomplish a milestone.
"There's kids there, too, this is a family event, every year," he said.
"It's still disbelief that this is happening at a major event like this," said Ron French, the manager at Runner's Den. "This is the 117th Boston Marathon and things like this don't happen at these races."
French said they know several people who traveled east to run the marathon.
"People train year-round for this to strive to qualify, it's almost a badge of honor, 'I qualified and got to participate in the Boston Marathon,'" he said.
Now those same people - his friends and training partners - are the targets of an unimaginable attack..
"2013 will be the year that bombs exploded and injured people and killed people," French said.
The organizers of the PF Chang's Rock and Roll Marathon that occurs every January in Tempe sent a statement saying,
We were shocked and saddened to learn of the tragedy in Boston today. Our hearts and thoughts are with the victims and all those affected. Out of respect to the Boston Marathon and the Boston Athletic Association, we will not be providing any additional comments at this time.
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