Veteran Marathon Runner Recounts Boston Explosion

Seventy-eight-year-old Bill Iffrig tells INSIDE EDITION about the horror of being knocked off his feet by the explosions in Boston.

He was the elderly marathoner in an orange tank top, who crumbled to the ground after the first bomb went off.

The 78-year-old runner laid in the street as Boston police officers reacted to the blast. Overnight he's become one of the iconic images from Monday's massacre.

Now, people all over the world woke up to the image of Bill Iffrig. It's even on the cover of the new Sports Illustrated.

Iffrig said, "Before I hit the ground, it flashed through my mind, this might be it for me."

INSIDE EDITION’s Paul Boyd asked, “What do you see when you look at that photograph?”

Iffrig said, "I was kind of in a daze. What happened here?"

Iffrig is a retired mason worker from Washington State and a veteran marathoner. This was his third Boston Marathon and his 45th marathon over all. He's actually one of the nation's top runners in his age group. In 2009, his hometown newspaper named him, “Man of the Year in Sports."

When he discovered that he was okay other than a scrape to his knee, he got to his feet and walked the last few feet to cross the finish line. On the other side of the world in Sydney, Australia, a headline reads, "Bastards Couldn't Stop Bill."

On CNN, Piers Morgan said, “He was blown off his feet. Images have gone around the world and he just got back up and finished the race.”

Boyd asked, "You actually finished the race?"

Iffrig answers, “Well, after running 26 miles out there, that’s the goal. I wasn’t going to abandon that.”

But Iffrig’s wife of 58 years, Donna, was in her Boston hotel room when the bombs detonated and feared the worst.  

She said, "When he knocked, it was such a relief. I just didn’t know what I was going to do if he had gotten hurt."

For obvious reasons, the marathon was called off right after the blasts. 5,000 runners couldn't finish. Last night, we found a haunting sight of bags containing clothes and other personal effects still waiting for marathoners at the finish line.

One of the eeriest, most heart-breaking parts of what INSIDE EDITION has seen so far is the haunting site of bags and clothes, still waiting for marathoners at the finish line.

Many of the bags still belong to people who are injured as the two expositions rang out and tore through the crowd.

One blessing for victims was that medical attention was right there. They were in tents intended for runners suffering from dehydration or sprained ankles.

The tents became instant triages. All the used medical supplies are still visible.

As for Bill Iffrig, he's spending today counting his lucky stars that he escaped with only a scrape on his knee.

Boyd asked, "How lucky are you?"

Iffrig said, "I know it."