She ran 26 miles only to not finish the last few hundred yards. While the first explosion at the Boston Marathon turned her around, the other sent her seeking shelter.
"Honestly, I still feel like it's not safe," Ginger Cross said over the telephone from Boston, a few hours after the two blasts that turned a celebration into an emergency.
She said that was in the final stretch of the Boston Marathon when the finish line became out of the question.
"It was a loud 'boom' that was like, earth-shaking. And this huge, billow of smoke came up, and immediately I knew that it was more than fireworks, and I stopped, and I turned around, to run the other way. And as I was running the other way, a second explosion went off in front of me to the right. So, I was in between the two explosions," she said.
And that's all she knew. Who made them, where they were coming from, and if there would be more were all unknown.
"People were thinking that we were being bombed from above," she said.
The barriers meant to keep spectators off the street were keeping the runners from cover. They pulled them back and ran into buildings that, for all they knew, might not be much more secure. Cross's hours of running became a hurdle.
"I was shaking so bad from being cold and dehydrated and just running the marathon, so I ran into the grocery store, to take shelter, not knowing what to do because I couldn't go any farther," she said.
And then she said that a few of the injured were carried into the store.
"One was a gentleman they were carrying and his whole calf was missing from the back of his leg. I mean, it was just totally mangled," she explained.
She eventually came back outside to meet her husband. Hours later, she still questioned her security.
"You question everything after something like that happens. You question, ‘is my hotel safe?' You question, ‘can I fly out of the town tonight?' You question, ‘was this just something to divert attention for something bigger to happen?'" she said.
After running so far, the place she really wanted to be Monday night was still thousands of miles away.
"I want to be home, right now. I want to be home," she said.
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