Local runner describes Boston's resilience 24 hours after tragedy

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Tracey Ashall looked at the poster, Thursday afternoon, for Boston Marathon runners. It had a list of every runner in the race. She was proud to say she completed the 26.2 miles with her fastest time ever.

But, that pride is overpowered by one thing: the tragic bombings.

Twenty-four hours after the tragic explosions, Ashall left her hotel room in Boston to tour the city.

"All I could think was I was just going through the finish just moments earlier and it could've been me," said Ashall.

Those thoughts continue to keep her up at night. But she was determined to enjoy Boston.

"I said to my husband, 'Let's not stop this from letting us enjoy the rest of our vacation. That means they've won,'" said Ashall.

Still, she said the mourning was undeniable.

"It was kind of weird, it was quieter, I think, than usual."

She did enjoy the rest of her trip only because of the resilience of the city.

"A woman stopped her car shouted out the window and said, 'Well done for Boston, please come back next year,'" said Ashall.

With a tear in her eye, Ashall said, still, all she could think about, and continues to think about, are the victims.

"It just breaks your heart every single time and I just wish I could give them a big hug and hold them."

She hopes justice will be found and she'd say one thing to those responsible for the tragedy.

"You will be judged. It may not be here, but you will be judged," said Ashall.

With post marathon injuries, blisters and sore joints, her discomfort is nothing.

"My pains will heal, their's won't," said Ashall.

As she gets back into the routine of life, she wants everyone to know resilience is key. She says this tragic event may have knocked many off their feet, but it won't stop them from finishing the race.

Ashall and all of the other Boston Marathon runners from the Coast have come together to help support the victims. They're putting on a race next Wednesday night at 6p.m. from the Irish Coast Pub in Downtown Gulfport. All proceeds will benefit those who were injured in the explosions.

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