Carolyn Miller told the Voice that she was approaching the finish line when she heard the first blast and "being from California, I immediately thought earthquake."
Miller was somewhere between the two bombs when each went off, just blocks from one another, and ripped through a crowd of spectators, sending shrapnel flying into runners passing by at about 2:50 p.m. Boston time — about four hours into the race.
According to race registration lists, as many as 13 Mountain View residents may have been running in the Boston Marathon on Monday. As of Tuesday, Boston police reported that three people died in the two explosions, including an 8-year-old boy. According to police commissioner Ed Davis, 176 victims were taken to hospitals with 17 listed in critical condition.
According to the Boston Marathon's website, 14 men and women from Mountain View had signed up to run the race.
Unscathed, Miller said she wasn't all that scared in the immediate aftermath of the attack. Many people helped her get her belongings and get in a boat taxi that took her back to her hotel. It was only after hearing all the sirens and helicopters that the gravity of the situation began to settle in, she said.
Nancy Scharfen, one of the 14 local runners, said she canceled her plans at the last minute due to a stress fracture in her foot. "I was supposed to run," she said.
The 116th installment of the historic race was marred by tragedy after two make-shift bombs exploded, about 10 seconds apart, along the marathon's final stretch on Boylston Street.
Scharfen said she almost went to Boston anyway, to stand at the finish line as a spectator, which would have placed her very close to the blasts. Ultimately, she decided she didn't want to be on her feet all day. She is a regular marathon runner and wanted to get healthy as soon as possible.
"I was just horrified that something so joyful could be taken away from people," she said.