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Redding Marathoner Recounts Boston Marathon Experience

By Shay Arthur
Published On: Apr 19 2013 08:59:36 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 19 2013 02:00:00 AM CDT
Gene Alba pic

Throughout the week there have been stories from the survivors of the Boston Marathon.

There have been stories of terror, of chaos, and of courage.

In many of there's stories there's always the question of what if?

What if a runner had crossed the finish line a little sooner? Or a spectator was watching a little closer?

Redding runner, Gene Alba, like so many runners across America is thankful for the mishaps along the way that did happen.

"There were people crying, there was blood, a lot of broken things everywhere," recounted Alba.

It was Alba's first Boston Marathon, but last year alone he ran 12 marathons.

On Thursday afternoon he told his story, wearing the same hat he wore during the race on Monday.

Alba said he was about a quarter of a mile from finishing when the bomb went off.

He said immediately the runners were stopped and kept in a holding area.

Frantically, he said he tried multiple times to call his wife, Trish, but she wasn't answering.

His photographer and fan, Trish, was supposed to be waiting fro him at the finish line.

Alba began to think the worst.

"I thought maybe she was one of the victims, she was supposed to be there in the very same spot the bombs went off."

However, thankfully Trish was unharmed.

She followed Alba along the course, snapping pictures of him as she went.

She made an unexpected stop at mile 23.

"From that point everything changed," said Alba.

Alba said had she not made that stop, Trish might've been in the way of the deadly blast.

Alba also credits an injury for stopping him from crossing the finish line sooner.

Just three weeks before the race he was diagnosed with plantar fascitis, a painful condition common in runners where the tissue around the foot is inflamed.

It's an injury that would normally devastate a runner.

"It slowed me down considerably," said Alba.

Finally, after three hours of searching the streets the couple was finally reunited.

A fellow searcher, that Trish had spoken to helped re-connect the two.

"She was running toward me, she was crying, her face lit up and I was freezing trying to get to her," reminisced Alba.

Despite all that happened, Alba said he would run the race again.

"Of course I'd run it again. To be able to run the Boston Marathon is something special."