This was Karin Sheehy's third year in a row running the Boston Marathon. The beautiful weather was a far cry from last year's sweltering 87-degree race day. She finished just before 2:15 p.m. Eastern time -- her best time for the acclaimed marathon.
After crossing the finish line, Sheehy, of Elgin, met up with her husband and mother and headed happily -- though wearily -- back to her hotel.
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When two explosions shook the finish line about 45 minutes later, Sheehy was inside her hotel a couple of blocks away and didn't hear a thing. She saw what happened on a TV in the hotel lounge, watching events with the rest of the country that were taking place less than a mile away from her.
Sheehy was a flight attendant for United Airlines in September 2001. Three days after the twin towers were struck, she was back on a plane, flying for work.
She doesn't expect Monday's explosions to affect her future race decisions.
"I will continue to run and hopefully I will run Boston again," Sheehy said. "It's an amazing race with amazing people."
Sheehy is planning to make it back to Elgin and her kids Tuesday morning, tired but uninjured.