Local Boston Marathon runners return home - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Local Boston Marathon runners return home

Posted: Updated:
Brian Harrifeld Brian Harrifeld
Claire Aylward Claire Aylward

By: Cole Miller

The heartbreak in Boston is being felt worldwide, including right here at home.

More than 24 hours later, many Nebraskans who ran the marathon are still on the east coast, but a few are back in town.

Straight from the Lincoln airport to our station, Brian Harrifeld brings with him a headline, 'Marathon Terror', and a story he'll never forget.

The 54-year-old finished the Boston Marathon about a half hour before the explosions went off and was back at the apartment he had rented. Then, his phone rang. 
"I had just stepped into the shower and it's like I'm going to take this call," Harrifeld said.

"So, I get out of the and they're like 'Turn on the TV, Brian, there's been an explosion and there's been deaths'."

Harrifeld says more people started calling him to make sure he was safe. His attention turned to finish line.

"I started playing that role of them because I had friends still in the race and Ii was like 'Oh, my God, I know they're behind me, probably at least a half hour,' and then you start to think they could be in that range. I was leaving them voicemails."

Another Lincoln native, Claire Aylward, also finished the race 30 minutes before the chaos. She's back in Omaha now, where she's a teacher, excited to see her students.
"They all knew I was running it," Aylward said.

"So, just the fact that I'm able to make this even personal for them and help them to really see the impact of this event in a more personal way, I think helps me to preface the situation and turn it into a more positive thing."

Now, they're both thinking about the victims. And as far as a return to the historic city, Aylward will wait.

Brian, though, says he'll back next year.

"Boston is never far from my mind and it's just something, it's very special to be there."
Harrifeld says he expects the city to recover and come back stronger than ever. When it comes to marathons in the future, he says he'll be keeping a watchful eye on his surroundings.

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