ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - A group of local women are preparing to head back to Boston for this year's marathon. All of them completed the marathon last year, but say they feel they left some unfinished business in Boston. So, this year, they plan to get closure.
For a marathon runner, timing is everything. And a few seconds could have made this a much different story for Lisa Baragiola. She was within feet of the first explosion.
"I can't put it into words," said Lisa as she tried to explain the chillingly close call.
Ten minutes made all the difference for Melissa Shust. She finished 10 minutes before the explosion, despite an injury, giving her family 10 minutes to leave their spot on the sideline.
"My husband and son were standing in the very spot where the bomb went off," Shust said.
NewsChannel 5 producer Sheila Rice was in Boston to support her sister, Joan Becker, who was running in the marathon. Sheila was clear of the finish line because Joan cleared it before the bomb went off. But Joan says she still knows how close she came to the alleged terrorists.
"They were walking down the street with their bombs and I probably ran right past them," Joan said.
Pam Morton had made her way to the family meeting area. But her family was stuck, sandwiched between the two bombs when they exploded.
"They said they felt like they were being hunted," Pam said.
And so, confusion turned to chaos turned to panic.
"Everybody just started screaming and running," Lisa said.
"It was like I was in a movie watching myself… but I wasn't really there. It didn't seem real to me," Melissa said.
But, those memories aren't keeping the women away from Boston. In fact, they're fueling their return.
"I feel like not going is letting those people win. And that's just not what we're about," Joan said.
And, going back will allow them to have the celebration stolen from them last year.
"We do all feel like we need to finish. It just, it wasn't complete," Pam said.
Lisa is the only one of the four not running in this year's race. But, she says she's returned to Boston since the attack which has helped in her healing process. She also says she'll be watching the race from home, and cheering on her friends. The entire group also says it will not only be celebrating this year's runners, but also mourning for those injured or killed in the bombings.