NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY -

With the anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing on Tuesday, the memories of the moments following the explosions is fresh on the minds of the runners who were there when it happened.

Among them is Lucien Vaughn of New Bern, who passed the finish line 15 minutes before the explosions took place.

"It was a very loud explosion, and everybody immediately turned around," Vaughn said. "You saw this huge flame of smoke go up in the air, like six stories high."

Vaughn was not injured during the explosion. However, three people died and more than 260 others were injured. Two homemade bombs were placed at the finish line.

"It was frightening," Vaughn said. "Something you wouldn't expect to see. It was just utter chaos, confusion, people running, people trying to get away."

Vaughn has participated in the race for six consecutive years, but won't be attending this year's. In order to participate in the race, runners have to qualify at a local race. Vaughn missed that qualifying requirement by one minute.

However Vaughn has already qualified for the 2015 race.

He wishes all the runners a safe and rewarding run at the 2014 Boston Marathon.

"I'd certainly hope and pray that they'd have a fun," Vaughn said. "I'd tell them to run strong and be proud they've trained hard to be there."