Time is a runner's best friend and worst enemy, always against the clock. But at 2:49pm ET on April 15th, 2013, time stood still as the bombs blasted in Boston. One Desert Hot Springs man finished the Boston Marathon before the bombs exploded, and was just a block away from the finish line.
"Astonished, I was astonished. For me, in my spirits, it was like one hour of tragedy," said Eduardo Herrada.
The 28-year-old man has been running competitively since 2007, and Boston was only his third marathon ever. He had nothing but high hopes heading into the race.
"I didn't expect that I'd be in Boston so quick in this field, this marathon running."
But nobody expected what would happen next, just thirty minutes after Herrada crossed the finish line. Tragedy struck and confusion reigned supreme. And Herrada was only a block away waiting for a friend, and trying to help in any way he could.
"I kept calm, but in that hour I see people crying, running for their lives, like me not knowing what to do," said Herrada.
He shared a personal experience of a girl coming up to him, begging him to help her make a phone call, yet not able to tell him the right numbers to dial before frantically running away. Just one example of many amid the confusion and chaos.
"You don't expect something like that, you can't expect in a beautiful city having people like that wanting to damage the others."
And while others may hold reservation after the tragedy, Herrada refuses to live in fear.
"You know, you can die in your bed. You don't know. You don't know when things are gonna happen to you. Every time you wake up and you go for your run every day, you are competitive, you have some goals to achieve," said Herrada. "This is just one more goal to achieve, so just do it. Just go for it."
Eduardo won't be one of the 36,000 people racing in Boston on Monday, but not because he doesn't want to. He said the Boston Marathon is his favorite marathon in the world, and can't wait to race in it again once he qualifies in the next few years.