Laura Morrissey has been a marathoner since college in the early '80s, but she began doing them more consistently just after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The 55-year-old Barrington woman remembers the spirit of patriotism and the crowd's chants of "U-S-A" at the Chicago Marathon that autumn, but all thoughts and fears of terrorism at such events had long faded from her mind by Monday's Boston Marathon.
Morrissey completed the race Monday about 15 to 20 minutes before the explosions at the finish line, by which time she was at the end of the runners' chute four blocks away.
Though she thought she'd heard something, her husband, who was standing in a family waiting area about two blocks from the blasts, heard it better.
"I heard some sound," Morrissey said. "I had pulled out my phone to call my husband to meet up with him. He said it sounded like something bad had happened and we should get out of there."
The two made their way back to their hotel where they then followed the unfolding events on television. By that time, the news was reporting that the whole area around the finish line had been cleared out.
Morrisey said she knew a couple other runners, believed they were consistently faster than her and would have finished earlier.