The close-knit running community in Calgary is trying to come to terms with what happened at the Boston Marathon after two bombs exploded.
Calgary athletes who escaped injury in Boston began returning home Tuesday.
Calgary-area runner Steve Smith says he had just crossed the finish line when he heard the first of two bomb explosions that killed three people and injured many more.
"Every time I closed my eyes I heard the booms," he said from the Calgary airport. "I saw things. I can't get it out of my head yet."
Smith said the medical tent for runners was quickly converted into a triage area.
"All the wheelchairs for people with sore legs changed to people who needed mobility because they had no legs," he said.
Memorial run planned
A long-distance Calgary runner has organized a jog in a city park to show support for the victims of the bombings at the Boston Marathon.
Trevor Hofbauer is behind an event called a "Run for Boston" on Saturday at 11 a.m. in Edworthy Park.
He's promoting the run through Facebook and Twitter.
"I have no expectations to be honest," said Hofbauer.
"If it's 30 people that show up it's awesome, if 1,000 people show up, it's still awesome. If there are people out there willing to run, willing to show a little support, that’s all I’m going for," he said.
Moment of silence
Running Room stores across Canada will hold a moment of silence before participants head out for their regular Wednesday group runs.
People can't be afraid to gather together for large events, said John Stanton, the Alberta-based founder of the company.
"We want to be able to do these things because they build a sense of community in a time when our world needs more community."
Calgary runners are still trying to come to terms with what happened in Boston, said Dan Ouimet, president of the Calgary Marathon Society.
"What we are doing is trying to assess our event, what we need to do in a case of emergency," he said. "As one of Canada’s leading events, I think we need to make sure we do what we can do to ensure the participants and spectators are going to have a good day, an enjoyable day and a safe day."
Reviewing race security
Some are already starting to think about how races here are organized.
"We've always had an emergency management plan in place, and how to deal with emergencies, but I think it's safe to say that the parameters of that are going to have to expand," said Calgary Marathon Society president Dan Ouimet.
The bombings in Boston prove event planners can't prepare for everything, yet they provide a powerful lesson, said crisis management consultant Ed Wendlandt.
"If nothing else, this continues to emphasize the need for organizations to really look at their preparedness, look at those hazards, those risks."
University of Calgary professor, Michael Zekulin, who studies terrorism and security issues said uncovering the motive behind the attacks is key to knowing what security officials will require in the future.
"Do we have to be concerned that we're going to see a similar incident or was this a grievance directed towards the United States specifically? So these things absolutely matter in terms of what you're thinking about moving forward."