BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Another Boston Marathon on a beautiful Patriot's Day, this one perhaps chronicled more than any other before on social media.
"#marathon #boston," read part of the caption accompanying a picture of a sea of runners Sarah Dingle posted at 2:21 p.m.
"I was over there at Finagle a Bagel on the second floor watching the whole scene and then I walked back, up and down Boylston, taking photos," she recalled.
She had gone back to work on Newbury Street when the first bomb went off.
"I was shaking, I was crying, I never thought I would experience something like this in my lifetime," she said.
Hundreds of pictures like Dingle's that were posted on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter were captured and have been preserved on Banjo, an app and web site that aggregates social media posts.
"The photos I posted were of the winning male and female, and my photos were really right at the finish line," said Jamie Weiner, whose girlfriend had already completed the race when he posted his pictures at 2:32 p.m. – 17 minutes before the first bomb exploded.
Five minutes later, Yijing Zhao posted a photo of runners at the finish line on Instagram with the caption "Marathoners!!"
"It took me like 10 minutes to walk one block" she recalled. "I arrived at Copley Square and then I walked from the back of the (Boston Public Library) to the hotel here and I took some selfies and pictures here."
The moment when the spring tradition turned to tragedy was also recorded on social media.
"Two explosions just rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon, sirens galore, people running in fear. Wonder what happened," reads the first post captured on Banjo about the blast.
Zhao posted a picture of the chaos on Instagram at 2:58 p.m.
"oh my god SHOOTING and BOMBING…!!! everyone is running away. Police are coming." she wrote.
Her post, foreshadowing a week of misinformation about what really happened. There was no shooter, rather two pressure cooker bombs, detonating seconds apart.
"Some ladies, they are like crying with their children and just trying to go home as soon as possible, but some are still waiting, calling their family telling them they are safe," she recalled to FOX Undercover.
Zhao continued to post pictures.
"This is the power of social media," she said.
Rachel Morgan was working in a nearby hotel when she heard the first explosion.
"As soon as it happened all we saw was people running as soon as we looked out the windows," she said recently. "I was actually in my boss's office and we heard the first blast go off, had no idea what it was, almost looked out to see if it was thunder."
Unable to call all the family and friends who were worried about her, she posted a picture of ambulances clogging a nearby street to let people know she was safe.
"When cell phones are jammed up and lines don't work, people can just go on to Instagram, Twitter, whatever and see that picture and know I'm there, I experienced it, but I'm not hurt, I'm all right," she said.
Veronica Carrillo also used social media to reach out to people she knew. She had been in Boston with her family to cheer on her dad, who was running the Boston Marathon for the first time. She watched him on Heartbreak Hill and was heading to meet her family at the finish line when she got a call from her brother.
"He called to say, ‘Hey, there was a bomb. Meet us back at the hotel.' And then basically the signal cut out," Carrillo said. "But from where I was I was just maybe about a mile away. It seemed like no one really noticed or knew yet. People were still running, people were still cheering. The police didn't seem to be reacting to anything so it seemed like no one around me knew at the time."
The runners were soon stopped, and she posted a picture of it on Instagram.
"We didn't really have a phone signal and I couldn't get a hold of my family. And so I decided to post a photo because every second I would get a phone signal I would get a text message and I wouldn't be able to send a message and I would lose signal again. So I thought if I posted something that says we are all okay, hopefully I could slow that down and I could get a call through to my family," she said.
It was the same experience for Dingle, who at 4:13 p.m. posted a photo featuring an FBI agent running with this caption: "Scariest experience of my life. Shaken up. Leaving the scene."
Two others FOX Undercover spoke with, Carrillo and Wiener, will be back in Boston for this year's Marathon.
"We are definitely excited to come back, but also just to support the city. Boston is such a beautiful and resilient city and to be there for that, to kind of see how people react and come together during that time is just really inspiring," Carrillo said.
Said Wiener: "We are really excited. We are really looking forward to being there and we are looking forward to being able to celebrate the event before, during, and after like it was intended."
© 2016 Cox Media Group.
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