Laura Swenson passed through the finish line about forty minutes before the explosions went off at the Boston Marathon Monday.
Her medal is a bittersweet award for the three-time Boston Marathon runner.
She left the finish line when she learned of the twin bombings.
"You could smell it; it smelled like burning plastic," Swenson said. "You could see gray smoke in the air."
Swenson's teen son recorded the sounds of sirens on his smart phone.
"Ambulances coming in from everywhere and you could see them all stopped near the finish line."
She made her way to Logan Airport Monday night where she watched news coverage of the deathly explosions.
"And I just, you know, had to fight back the tears because I didn't really know the magnitude of what had happened," she said. "At that point they said maybe one or two had died."
The death toll would rise to three.
The long time runner still plans to bring her daughter to next year's Boston Marathon.
Though she does have reservations.
"I would second guess having my daughter there at the finish line, I would think about that."
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