POTTSTOWN — Mike Carriglitto said it was hard to describe the feeling he had while running in the 118th Boston Marathon this week.
“It was awesome,” he said. “There was so much energy.”
Carriglitto, 38, of Stowe, finished his fifth running of the marathon in 2 hours, 39 minutes and 31 seconds — which put him as the 319 finisher overall.
After a warmer than usual race in 2012, Carriglitto did not formally compete in the race last year. Instead, he said, he ran the last 10 miles with his girlfriend, Samantha Snukis, also of Stowe. Snukis crossed the finish line about 10 minutes before the bombs went off.
He briefly described the experience that propelled him — and many others — to run this year.
“We were in a shop and heard a boom,” he said of the terrorist bombing that marred the 2013 race. “As soon as we found out what happened, we decided to run again.”
Despite of the events last year, which killed three people and wounded 260 others, Carriglitto said he never felt safer than while running in Boston on Monday, April 21.
“There was a cop every 10 feet,” he said.
Carriglitto said he thanked several officers for being at the race after he crossed the finish line. But the feeling of gratitude was mutual — he said a few officers thanked him for coming to their city and running.
“I told them I’ve never felt this safe (and) they appreciated it,” he said.
One officer told Carriglitto that working the marathon was “well worth” all the overtime he clocked in the days and weeks before the event preparing for the massive crowds.
Along with the nearly 35,000 racers on course, Carriglitto said the crowd lining the course went 50 people deep — “people were everywhere.”
Carriglitto, who ran long distance races at Kutztown University, said the conversation among runners wanting to compete in the marathon this year never stopped.
“There was somebody standing at each foot along the course,” he said. “There was such a strong connection — it was a truly amazing experience.”