San Diegans running Boston Marathon describe aftermath of explosions

Doug Gilliland, Jim Pathman narrowly escape injury

BOSTON - The Boston Marathon was a traumatizing experience for dozens of San Diego-based runners. Among them were Team Hoyt teammates Doug Gilliland and Jim Pathman.

Pathman crossed the finish line about 10 minutes before the first explosion. He got his medal and some water before heading to a portable toilet.

"Twenty seconds after that, I heard both explosions," Pathman told 10News from his hotel in Boston. "So I opened the door to the Porta-Potty and I looked out and all the volunteers from the finish line were running as fast as they could past me."

At the same time, Gilliland passed the 24-mile marker.

"As soon as it happened, they closed the course and they got everybody off," said Gilliland.

Twenty-five of Gilliland and Pathman's friends were sitting in the grandstand right at the finish line. Rumors were spreading among the runners that the bomb destroyed the stands.

"As soon as the rumor mill started, then Boston shut down all the cell phone service," said Gilliland. "And so you didn't know what to believe."

Gilliland was cut off. Meanwhile, Pathman tried running in the same direction of the crowds without knowing where to go.

"I just thought, 'OK this is the worst physical situation that I've ever been in to deal with this,'" he thought after completing the 26.2 mile marathon. "I knew that if I really had to run, I couldn't."

Hours later, Gilliland and Pathman finally reunited with the rest of their group at the hotel, which happened to be the same one where the first bomb was detonated.

Pathman said the race was an easy target with thousands of unsuspecting victims.

"You can create such havoc and such destruction in such a small space," he said.

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