IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Tuesday marked the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings in which two bombs claimed three lives, including that of a young child.
Several eastern Idahoans ran in the marathon and experienced the terror firsthand.
"The first sound was extremely loud like a cannon," said Karen Smith of Idaho Falls. "I saw all the, the plume of smoke and debris flying and the other racers had fallen."
Smith was running in the marathon for her third time. She said the first bomb went off eight seconds after she had crossed the finish line.
"You felt it. You felt it, you heard it," said Smith.
Before Smith had time to react, the second bomb went off further down Boylston Street, where Smith said her husband was waiting on the sidelines.
Kathy Hart of Idaho Falls also ran in last year's marathon. She said she was still running when the bombs went off.
"It took a while to sink in, it's like, 'Is this a joke? Is someone playing a joke?'" said Hart.
But Smith said she knew exactly what was happening by the time she heard the second bomb. This isn't the first time she's come face-to-face with a senseless act of terror.
"I grew up in New York and so I had a cousin who died in Tower One. So seeing the explosion there, you just never – I don't know – you just don't feel physically safe," said Smith.
One year later, Smith says she'd like to put the events of last year behind her.
"I didn't have any injuries, but trying to heal from that has been a slow process," said Smith. "I had a very hard time sleeping. Had nightmares."
Smith will be running in the marathon again this year on April 21 with a group of friends from the Idaho Falls area.
"These types of things can't chance the emotional aspect and the perseverance that I think America has and let alone the running community has," said Jeff Shadley, who plans to run with Smith in this year's marathon.
"I'm excited to go back to a race I love. Boston reminds me of home," said Smith.