Several days removed from the 117th running of the Boston Marathon — and a terrorist bombing attack that left three dead and more than 150 wounded — Midcoast runners continue to take stock and reflect on both the race and their experience at an event that will never be forgotten.

Twelve local runners qualified for the storied event and 11 took part in the race, which saw Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia place first overall in the 26.2-mile race with a time of 2:10:22.

Seven of the 11 local runners were able to finish the race before two explosions went off near the finish line around 2:50 p.m. on Monday, April 15.

The race was immediately halted and runners were rerouted to different areas for safety.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who are brothers, are the primary suspects in the bombing case. Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with Boston police April 19, while Dzhokhar was apprehended over the weekend. Dzhokhar is seriously wounded and heavily sedated. He is receiving medical treatment — and being questioned — at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

"Though it's a week removed, it's still fresh," said Reade Brower of Camden, who is an avid runner and host of several local road races, but who did not participate in this year's Boston Marathon. "I just went to Boston on Sunday [April 21] to the Red Sox game to take my son home who came home for the weekend, which was the day after the David Ortiz comments. The city is still feeling the aftershocks I think."

Tragedies typically are the things that bring people, towns, cities and nations together. And the events that transpired last week are no exception.

"I think the message has been very clear that this is making Boston stronger," said Brower. "We're all holding up these 'Boston Strong' signs throughout the ball game and that's the way Boston has chosen to handle this. They've decided to come out and say 'This is our city' and together we can't be defeated."

Midcoast runners who finished this year's Boston Marathon included:

Kirby Davis, 28, Camden, 2:39:09 (256th overall, 237th in his gender and 200th in his division); Scott Layton, 37, Rockport, 2:55:55 (1,362nd overall, 1,285th in his gender and 9,821st in his division); David Bates, 26, Tenants Harbor, 3:17:58 (5,354th overall, 4,665th in his gender and 2,647th in his division); Amanda Labelle, 29, Rockland, 3:17:57 (5,352nd overall, 689th in her gender and 568th in his division); Eric Kangas, 51, Camden, 3:25:03 (7,118th overall, 5,811th in his gender and 563rd in his division); Carol Manley, 58, Washington, 3:46:12 (12,888th overall, 4,294th in her gender and 53rd in her division); Douglas Johnstone, 64, Camden, 4:04:17 (16,670th overall, 10,225th in his gender and 431st in his division)

Runners who did not finish the race included:

Joanie Rhoda, 59, Washington, 4:16.:50 (40K final checkpoint); Emily McDevitt, 48, Camden, 2:48:09 (30K final checkpoint); Ellen Spring, 60, Thomaston, 4:06:10 (30K final checkpoint); and Theresa Withee, 46, Camden, 4:16:11 (40K final checkpoint)

Andrea Wilhelm of Lincolnville qualified for the marathon, but did not participate.

In a statement made after the marathon incident, Maine's most famous marathoner, the 1984 Olympic gold medalist in Los Angeles, Calif., Joan Benoit Samuelson of Freeport, said, “Tragedy trumped triumph in Boston on [April 15]. However, the human spirit and the strength of runners and our sport will prevail in good time amidst the aftermath of this senseless and horrific act. My heart now beats for those lives lost and for those whose stride will forever be challenged.”

Midcoast runners said they too are still in shock roughly a week after the bombings.

"I'm on the verge of tears just about every time I hear something on the radio at this point, so I don't know if I've fully recovered from that experience," said Withee. "It was really scary."

Withee was about a half a mile from the explosions when they took place.

"I heard the blast, but I really didn't think anything of it," she said. "It sounded really to me like cannons going off or something like that, so I honestly thought it was part of some kind of celebration that may have been happening. Why would I think it was a bomb?"

Withee was part of another small group of runners who were stopped on the other side of the Massachusetts Avenue underpass and were given limited information by the police as to why the race was being stopped.

"They didn't say anything to us but, 'Go home,' " she said. "It was so weird. I mean as runners we have all this adrenaline and we're almost to the finish line, we're picking up our pace [and] we're almost there, and then all of the sudden to just stop and not really be told anything [was weird]. At that point all we knew was there had been explosions."

Withee said she has canceled an upcoming road race and due to her feelings on the previous week's Boston Marathon events, may cancel others.

Spring, who was one of the four local runners who did not finish the race, sent well wishes to the city of Boston.

"I just hope that all the people that were injured so badly I hope they're starting to recover," she said. "There are some I heard that are still in critical condition even after all this time, so I just hope they're going to be getting better soon."

"More and more my heart is just going out to all the individuals who suffered," said Kangas. "It was just great seeing the coverage on TV about everyone that came to the rescue. American people are great. It's one of those things that there's probably not a half hour that goes by that I don't think about how much people are suffering in that area. It's sad."

Kangas said the American spirit appears not only stronger than ever in those that were affected, but in those who hope to make a difference as well.

"I talked to some people that actually more than ever are saying they didn't qualify before but now want to qualify just to more or less say [to the terrorists], 'Hey, you can't do this to us and get away with it,' " he said.

While the feelings and accounts of the local runners who participated may differ, for the majority, one fact seems to ring true.

"I'll definitely run it again," said Labelle. "Yes it happened and it was really upsetting and tragic and unfortunate, but I think people are pretty steadfast in the spirit that it won't change what the event is and it will remain a positive, supportive thing."

"I do definitely plan to go back and run it again in the future," said Spring. "They actually handled it all really well after those horrible things happened. The organization was so good to be able to handle it as well as they could."

"I'll definitely run it again," said Kangas. "The next day I was having lunch at a restaurant and the waitress we had was talking about hopefully this won't impact the race in future years because it's so great for the economy. So I said I'm set in my mind that I'm definitely coming back next year, more so than to let people know they can't get away with this."

"I will probably run the Boston Marathon in the future," said Withee. "I don't think this experience is going to stop me from running that event, but I can tell you I'm kind of heartbroken and my heart isn't really in my running right now.

"And I don't know how long it will take me to get that back."

Courier Publications Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at