Marathon runner from Rochester reacts to manhunt - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Marathon runner from Rochester reacts to manhunt

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Shaun Palmer Shaun Palmer

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Shaun Palmer returned home from Boston on Tuesday.  The seasoned athlete ran in three Boston marathons.  He crossed the finish line on Monday 20 minutes before the explosions.  Since then, he has been following the search for the suspects.

"Everybody knew, sooner or later, they were going to catch whoever it was," Palmer said.  "The area that it was there was lots of video of what's going on.  It's just a matter of catching the people."

House by house, Boston police have searched for those responsible for Monday's explosions.  The law enforcement presence has been felt through the city immediately following the events.   As Palmer recalls, police were everywhere when he tried to leave his hotel after the marathon.

"Later we went downstairs and the police were there standing with guns at their side in their special op uniforms and then we had military guys at the corner with their machine guns -- something I've never seen or experienced before," Palmer said.

The next day, Palmer made his way back to Rochester.  From his hotel to the airport, Palmer said security around Boston was tight.

"We had to walk through a checkpoint and I've never walked through a checkpoint before and there's two armed military men and a police man and they're checking IDs as we walk through this checkpoint so that was very unusual and very scary," Palmer said.

It was a scary end to a trip that Palmer has spent years preparing for.   

"All of a sudden this happens and it really just takes the focus off of it," Palmer said.  "And really, the first thing you worry about is your fellow runners."

In the chaos, Palmer was able to locate his friends and send messages home, letting family know he was OK.  Despite having finished just minutes before the explosions, Palmer said he has qualified for the 2014 race and will return to Boston.

"I wouldn't miss it for anything.  It's a great event to go to, it's well run," Palmer said.  "We expect more security next year.  A lot of runners, everybody I've talked to is thrilled about it and would go back to Boston -- no one's scared about it."

It's the same kind of courage that has allowed Boston police to pursue the suspects, while helping the city get through this difficult week.

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