Surviving Boston Bombings: Central Valley Runners, Spectators Recount The Boston Marathon

Several competitors from the Central Valley were just a few hundred feet away when a series of explosions near the finish line of Monday's Boston Marathon hit.

Aaron Samansky, the owner of Fresno-based Sierra Running Company, said he was glued to his cell phone and remained plugged into social networks after finding out about the explosions. Several runners from his running club participated in the marathon.

"I spoke with three or four different club members," he said. "They are definitely frightened but glad that they are safe."

One of the runners, Amanda Whitten, described the first explosion as a "bomb-like cannon." She said that volunteers scrambled to keep the runners moving away from the finish line.

Two bombs blew just moment apart, leaving spectators and participants bloodied and littering the streets with broken glass and debris. In the mess, three people were killed and more than 170 people were seriously wounded.

"Minutes before I had been high fiving them and that's the best thing about this race is the spectators, how they come out and support us," Whitten said.

Phil Stovall, a runner out of Fresno, was just a few hundred feet away from the blasts.

"People just started running at us, and we were trapped by the buses and I was afraid people were going to get trampled, people were really scared," Stovall recalled.

Stovall was with his son Matt. Near him was Fresno firefighter Brian Price who was with his children, rooting on his wife.

None of them were injured.{}

They say that they plan to stay in Boston and not come home early.