ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Several St. Louis area runners and their families returned from Boston Tuesday morning on a flight into Lambert Airport. They are telling emotional stories of survival.
The runners came off the plane with their medals and other memorabilia from the Boston Marathon.
But the terror of being in the middle of the bombings will likely be the most vivid memory for many of this year's event.
"It was surreal. It was just scary. We didn't know what was happening. It was just very terrifying," said Jeff Morton from Fenton.
Morton saw the explosions go off. He, his two kids, and his parents were across the street from the blasts trying to get to Jeff`s wife Pam who had finished the marathon a short time earlier.
"In front of us off to the left side, a huge explosion like the storefront blew out. So we were stuck and we didn`t know what to do and then just a few seconds later behind us on that same side another storefront exploded," said Morton.
His husband, Pam Morton, told us, "They started pushing us, all of us, telling us to go down because there`s a family meeting area and they were shoving us down that way, getting away from the finish line- they said turn around go back away from the finish line. And then they started to clear us out because the ambulances started coming through and we`re like what in the world just happened."
Heather Lang from House Springs knew something was wrong right away. She had already finished running when the chaos broke out.
"There was the bomb, squad cars were coming, the police cars, it was crazy. There were helicopters, it was very hard actually," said Lang.
Quanna Hafer of West Plains, Missouri, had just crossed the finish line moments before the bombs exploded.
She is still in shock trying to come to grips with what happened.
"It`s just impossible to even think of why there, it`s such an amazing event," explained Hafer.
Everyone we spoke with is just grateful to be back home.
"I`m just happy that I`m alive honestly and that my family`s ok," said the Morton`s 17-year-old daughter, Talisa Morton.
Fortunately, everyone we talked with made it out ok with no injuries.
At the same time, one runner told us what happened may make her think twice about running the Boston Marathon again.