In the midst of the estimated 23,000 runners in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, a handful start the race with some fear, trepidation and a great deal of hope they'll be able to finish the race.
Sara Hunt flew in from her hometown of Putnam, Conn. only 13-days after her first big race -- the prestigious Boston Marathon. She had the finish line in sight when two bombs went off.
"I just had this burst of energy and I knew I was getting so close," Hunt told 2News anchor Karen Larsen. "And all of a sudden it got crazy. I heard a couple of bangs but wasn't expecting what actually happened. Everyone just started running everywhere."
Exhausted after running more than 25 miles, she feared for her mother's safety.
"I started to panic because my mom was between mile 25 and the finish line," Hunt said. "So, I started running up and down mile 25 -- just started looking for her. I couldn't find her at all. So I just started to panic."
It took over an hour for mother and daughter to connect. Spectators shared their cell phones with the runners, helping them reach loved ones to offer reassurance. Another stranger helped Hunt and her mother find a meeting spot in the unfamiliar city.
"The best feeling was being able to see her... and I just ran to her," Hunt said.
Hunt and her mother, along with the nation, watched the terror attack investigation unfold over the next few days. In the midst of the events, Sara heard the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon organizers were inviting runners who did not get to finish Boston to travel to the Sooner State.
"It was kind of like a quick decision. Once I heard about the Oklahoma marathon and what it was a memorial for, and after going through what I did in Boston, I thought it was kind of a good decision," Hunt said.
She spent months training for her first marathon effort in Boston in between her regular job managing the family mechanic's shop and coaching women's softball. With only 13 days to recover, she isn't sure she's ready for another race but she is determined.
"I know I will finish and I know I will meet a lot of great people," Hunt said. "And I'll be part of something very special."
Sara says the Boston terror attack taught her some important lessons. She discovered that life can change in an instant, people will be there for you when you least expect it - and complete strangers will reach out to help. As a result, Hunt says she is a lot stronger... strong enough to run all 26.2 miles of her second big marathon.
For coverage of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon go to www.kjrh.com/okcmarathon. We will live stream our broadcast from the race Sunday beginning at 7 a.m.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Also in the headlines
A 6-year-old boy has died after falling through the ice on a south Tulsa creek, according to police.
Pictures of the first winter storm of the season, Dec. 5 and 6.
Oklahoma defeated Oklahoma State 33-24 in Stillwater, preventing the Cowboys from winning the Big 12 title and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl.
The live musical performance of the Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood aired on NBC December 5, 2013.