Terry McCluskey didn't see anything out of the ordinary when he finished the Boston Marathon in more than three hours.
"I went to the finish area, lots of spectators, lots of runners going through lots of officials and photographers," the 64-year-old Vienna man said via phone Monday night. "It was a pretty normal scene."
Then, while he was in his hotel room, he heard the multitude of sirens en route to something unimaginable - a pair of bombs that went off near the finish line of the annual race.
LEFT: Bill Iffrig, 78, lies on the ground as police officers react to a second explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday.
"No one ever thought that this would be a target," he said. "It's just changing everyone's mental state right now. We're all in disbelief and shock.
"The main thing is who's hurt, who's OK, and did anybody get hurt that we know. We hope anybody we don't know is OK, too."
McCluskey, like many others, has more questions than answers about the explosion that killed three people and injured more than 100.
"I myself am wondering what's behind this, who's behind this," he said. "Is it an organization? Is it an individual? Is it one person? Is it a lunatic? Or is it something planned by some group? It scares me, because I went through this area less than an hour (before the bombs exploded).
"I'm a little bit shaken, thinking I was right there before it happened."
Ted Rupe of Greene Township coordinates area running events like the Turkey Trot and Peace Race and was in Boston to cheer on some friends.
His wife, Michelle Rupe, said she initially found out Ted was not harmed from her daughter, Ro Morgan, who said he was OK and was going to check on some friends.
Michelle Rupe eventually talked to him and said he was near the 20-mile marker and was trying to find his way back to the hotel.
"He said it was pretty much a lockdown where he was at, and he said I knew more than he did," Michelle Rupe said. "He was clueless to what's going on, six miles from the finish line. He likes to go out and cheer. He wasn't at the finish line, thank goodness."
Edward Smith said his father, Ken, 53, of Warren, was near the chaos.
"I sent my first comment to him at about 3:50 p.m.," Edward Smith said. "He responded back at 4 p.m. I was so relieved to see he had gotten back to me. At that point, he told me that three were dead and it was 'total madness' there. He said he was just one block away when it happened."
Edward Smith kept in touch with him for almost an hour.
"The last time I heard from him, it was 5:18 p.m. He said it was 'unreal' there and people were telling him not to use his phone. They are afraid another bomb might be detonated, Edward Smith said. "It is just a terrible tragedy."
Dr. Michael Ciletti, 49, of Warren came home about 8:30 p.m. from the marathon.
"Basically our whole family went up there with him," Ciletti's sister, Tracy Buttar, said. "My sister-in-law said when they were on their way to the airport to get out, it was utter chaos. There were just swarms of security everywhere."
Buttar said Ciletti and his family were back at the hotel when the explosions occurred.
"His daughter actually jumped in and ran the last mile with him," she said. "He called me right after the race and said they were planning on coming home later that night. They were at the hotel when the explosion happened, thankfully."
Getting a hold of loved ones was the main thing on day like this, Edward Smith said when he talked to his father, Ken.
"For the most part, I just expressed to him how much I loved him and how happy I was that he was safe," he said.
Tribune Chronicle reporter Ashley Newman contributed to this story.