The tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon have hit close to home for some Destinites.
"It's terrifying to think so many of my loved ones were right there and witnessed this horrific scene," said Robin-Emily Mucha, a Boston native who lives in Niceville and works in Destin.
Mucha told The Log that her father-in-law and his wife were at the finish line of Monday's race with their son, who was planning on proposing to his girlfriend after she crossed the finish line.
It was near the finish line where a series of explosions took place, killing three and injuring more than 140 people, according to media reports Tuesday morning.
"They were able to get away after the attack and are now safe," Mucha wrote in an email to The Log. "My news feed on Facebook and Twitter are filled with statuses of 'I'm OK!' "
If she hadn't given birth recently, Destin resident Jessica Schmuke would have been in Boston for this year's race. The active runner participated in the Boston Marathon for the past three years.
"It's just shocking when you hear of the events that happened yesterday," she said. "You run to the end of the race and you hope to connect with your family and friends — they had redirected people from the course to different areas — and it would be scary not being able to find them."
Knowing the race course, Schmuke told The Log that when runners are approaching the finish line the entire area is very crowded, as there are fences along the roadway to keep the crowds back, bleachers set up so people can see the runners as they cross the finish line, and busy sidewalks and street-side restaurants that are typically full of people.
"It's a highly congested area," she said.
And while she didn't participate this year, Schmuke said she had friends that were running in this year's race.
"I had one friend that was knocked over by the first blast," she said. "She just grabbed her friend and they ran away."
"Thankfully they are all OK," she added. "The best thing has been Facebook. Since people were redirected, phone lines were down and some hotels were on lockdown, it was the only way to be able to check on people."
Hedy Vahabzadeh, who works for the city of Destin, told The Log that her daughter Rebecca ran in Monday's race and was two blocks away from the finish line when the explosions took place.
"Rebecca finished in 3 hours and 34 minutes and the bombs went off at 4 hours and 9 minutes," Vahabzadeh wrote in an email to The Log. "This was her first time to run in Boston and it was supposed to be a monumental, happy event."
"You say 'thank God' and wonder 'what if,' and cry for the victims,' " she added.
According to reports, almost three-quarters of the 23,000 runners that had participated in the Boston Marathon were already across the finish line when the first explosion took place around 2:50 p.m. A second explosion occurred shortly after the first.
A portion of the city, near Copley Square, was still closed off as part of the crime scene Tuesday morning, according to media reports.
Despite Monday's tragedy at the Boston Marathon, Mucha said the city of Boston will come together as it always does in times of need.
"I think that it will take a while to wrap our heads around this, but Bostonians are resilient and will stand strong together," she told The Log. "I am a Bostonian through and through, and Patriot's Day is supposed to be a time of excitement and celebration, not tragedy, fear and pain."