Under a bright spring sky, April Farnham's dream of completing the 2013 Boston Marathon went dark.
"I am at mile 25.8 and literally they put the brakes on; you stop dead," said Farnham of Plainfield.
Two explosions at the finish line brought the historic race to a halt.
"I was really close. People were coming up, yelling, screaming people's names," Farnham said.
The deadly turn of events shook her to the core.
"I am standing in the middle of a deserted street in the middle of Boston, balling my eyes out," she said.
Farnham's story echoed those of thousands of other runners who took to the course that morning.
"This was supposed to be one of the best experiences of my life and instead it turned into something completely horrible and unthinkable," Farnham said.
Also unthinkable was the fact that her training group couldn't find her. An Associated Press photo captured the fear and uncertainty in friend Justine Franco's face.
"I am so desperate for April," Franco said. "I knew I just had to go down and get her, no matter what condition she was in."
Farnham did not have a cellphone. Friends did not know if she had been hurt and plans to meet at the finish line were out.
"It looks like somebody who is desperate and on the verge of a complete breakdown," Farnham said of the photo of her friend.
The search continued for three hours. Farnham headed for the staging area with hopes her friends would eventually show.
"I just sat there," Farnham said. "And all of the sudden her two friends show up and then the texts start flying and they go, we've got her, and it was a huge relief."
A feeling that for Franco only came when she could see her training partner for herself.
"Even though I knew my friends had her, I didn't... It is like the finish line-- you know it's there, you know you can finish, you know you've done it before, but you're not there yet," Franco said.
And as for that finish-- that was four-tenths of a mile out of reach Monday. Farnham says she'll be back to run for those who lost their lives and were injured, and to show whoever was behind the attacks that evil will not win.
These two ladies start training for the 2014 Boston Marathon Thursday.
Farnham says had she not stopped to use the ladies' room about halfway through the race there is a good chance she would have crossed the finish line at the time of the blasts.