As Moorestown alumni Pete Kingston neared the end of the Boston Marathon and saw his wife and infant daughter cheering him on from the sidelines, he considered walking the rest of it, perhaps even breaking the rules and rolling his eight-month-old across the finish line with him.
Thankfully, he mustered up the energy and forced his exhausted legs into a slow jog.
Kingston finished only minutes before a pair of explosions rocked the Marathon near the finish line, killing three and injuring more than 100. He and his family had just left the race and were roughly two blocks away, headed back to their hotel, when they heard the news.
"It's a little unsettling to think if I had walked it, my timing would have been just about terrible," he said.
Speaking from his hotel room Monday night, just minutes from the scene of the bombings, Kingston described a very tense metropolis.
"The whole city is basically, I don't want to say on lockdown, but getting into the hotel, you have to show ID," he said. "There's very much a heightened sense of security."
Kingston, who lives in Pasadena, CA graduated from Moorestown High School in 1998, and is the son of boys tennis coach Bill Kingston.
This was his fourth marathon, and his first time running Boston. Though he was definitely shaken by the events Monday, Kingston said it wouldn't discourage him from running in future races because "that means the bad guys win."
Kingston served in the Marines for four years, including two deployments to Iraq, and though he's "never looked back," he said, "It's days like today that make you think about signing back up."
"It just flat-out makes me angry. It's an unfortunate reminder that evil exists," he added. "We feel very fortunate to be safe, but it's a sickening day—for Boston, for the country."