Friday, August 29 2014 1:50 PM EDT2014-08-29 17:50:07 GMT
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MEMPHIS, TN -
(WMC-TV) – Charlie Duke of Memphis is an avid athlete who bikes and runs. Monday's race was the first year medical student's first Boston Marathon. It's a race Duke may never forget for the wrong reasons.
"I had met up with a couple of friends and we heard two explosions," said Duke by phone from Boston.
Duke finished the marathon by the time the bombs went off. He said they were about 5 to 10 seconds apart by his estimation.
"I said to somebody next to me, "I hope that's a cannon," Duke said. "Like a celebration type of thing."
Duke learned while walking back to his hotel it was nothing to celebrate.
"As we started moving we heard sirens everywhere," said Duke.
Reid Rainer of Germantown had just completed his first Boston Marathon as well when he heard the blast from his hotel room.
"Probably finished about 30 minutes ahead of the explosion," said Rainer. "And just walked in and it went off."
Rainer watched the aftermath from 8 floors about the finish line area. That's where the sidewalk was soaked with blood.
"It's just sad, you know, that this would happen," said Rainer.
Both men feel for the victims and their families along with the Boston Marathon itself. They said it's an event they would run again.
"The whole event is supposed to be a party and it's about life and it's a celebration," said Duke. "And I think it's a pretty sorry thing."
Runner Angie Zinkus of Eads, Tennessee is already back home. She was in a taxi cab on the way to the airport when she heard the bombs detonate. She said it was the scariest experience of her life.