Runners from Milwaukee area return from Boston

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Runners from the Milwaukee area are returning home safe and sound after two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Patriot's Day in Boston, Monday, April 15th. Meanwhile, family members and loved ones waiting at the airport let out collective sighs of relief as they welcomed their runners home.

Janette Kern wasted no time letting her daughter-in-law know how worried she was. Therese Kern crossed the finish line just minutes before the explosions.

"It's just good to be back home. It was very scary. I just finished running and about 10 minutes later I saw the bombs go off, the poofs of smoke and everything. It was just chaotic," Kern said.

Janette Kern said she was elated to welcome Therese home.

"Oh my God -- relief! Just happiness, joy! Oh my gosh, it was just wonderful. Just a blessing," Kern said.

Kelly Corteen finished the marathon an hour before the explosions.

"The thing that's making me shake right now is that's exactly where my mom was standing, waiting for me at the finish line. So had I been slower or had I been in the last wave, it's going to make me cry, she would've been there. It just freaks me out, but I'm happy to be home," Corteen said.

Chris Wodke was running the marathon with a friend and her friend started getting texts about the explosion ahead. At mile 25-and-a-half, an official told Wodke the race was over.

"It's heartbreaking because that course is lined with little kids. They're there handing out cups of water. One little boy handed a gummy bear to me and when I took it, he turned to his dad and said 'she took my gummy bear.' They were as excited to be there as we were. I don't know who was more excited, me or the kids I took oranges and water from -- and to find out a kid that age was killed is heartbreaking," Wodke said.

Laurie Winkelman didn't think her experience would end this way either.

"You can tell us by our jackets that we're proudly wearing now. It was a very somber atmosphere," Winkelman said.

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