CORINTH, Miss. (WTVA) -- Kenneth Williams had high hopes to add a twelfth Boston Marathon medallion to his collection, but fate would stand in the way.
"Fortunately, when I started out, I saw pretty immediately that it wasn't gonna be my day," Williams said.
Williams prepared for the 26 mile run for months-only to have a bum knee the day of the race.
"My knee that had not hurt for three months had been hurting that week and so I was progressing slow and hey, it might have saved ole Coach's life," Williams added.
Williams was just a half mile away when the race for him and thousands of others would abruptly end.
Big city. I'm a country boy. I didn't know what was going on. I knew I'd never heard cannon fire at the end of the Boston Marathon," Williams said.
Williams doesn't want to think what could have happened if he had been running at his usual pace.
"About the time I would have been finishing was the time when the big explosions took place," Williams added.
Not far away would be Roan Johnson who is a runner of six years.
"I was about a half mile from the finish and then it was like we hit a wall. We were running and the runners stopped," Johnson said.
All were re-routed and eventually she made it back to her hotel. It was only then she found out her fellow Boston Marathon runner and husband was safe.
Johnson turned to her faith for support.
"You have to live your life everyday as if it's your last day. You have to live your life ready to die-ready to meet your Lord and have no regrets," Johnson added.
Both Williams and Johnson mourn the loss of all those killed or injured and for the impact on an event which celebrates life and endurance.