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Lexington run shop tracks local runners at Marathon

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - At John's Run/Walk Shop the board is full of races to run, but on this day only one race matters- the Boston Marathon.

"Yeah, this is the World Series for a runner, especially for an amateur runner," explained Matthew Ernst, of John's Run/Walk Shop, "people dream about doing this."

Today, that dream turned into a nightmare, and some Lexington runners were a part of the race.

In the moments after the explosion, the store started getting calls about how the local runners were. Ernst said cell service was a problem for the Boston area, and on top of that the runners are typically without their phones. So, Ernst and others turned to social media for updates.

"We've been getting tweets and Facebook responses, because apparently you can still do that," he said, ""we had eight people from Lexington that ran it but most people, except for one that we found out, finished way before it happened. The other person finished just a little before it happened, but everybody is, as far as we know, is okay."

While Ernst spent his time tracking down the Lexington participants, there was one runner that was always on his mind- his own brother, David. Ernst said his brother was a Lexington native, but now lives in Chicago.

"I was worried about my brother who finished about 20 minutes before the bomb went off so I wanted to make sure he was okay," Ernst said he's spoken to him twice since.

Still, Ernst can't take his eyes off the TV because for him this race and that area is a place he knows well.

"I've run it four times!" adding, "These are your everyday runners, that killed themselves to get into it, to qualify. Now that they've qualified and they're finally running down Boylston Street, you know the big finish and all of the sudden for that to happen, it's crazy."

While the race takes hours to complete, it's these mere moments that will last in the minds of many and the sweet relief knowing that their friends and family are safe in the middle of the devastation.

Ernst said his brother was able to leave the Boston and return home.

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