Eliot Bank, of West Orange, and his family close to marathon bombings

A West Orange father of four was in Boston Monday to compete in his first Boston Marathon, but left the street scene before the bombs

Eliot Bank, 36, a lifelong runner, was celebrating

Eliot Bank, 36, a lifelong runner, was celebrating with his wife and 3-month-old daughter in a hotel room across the street from the finish line when the bombs went off. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

BOSTON - A West Orange father of four was in Boston Monday to compete in his first Boston Marathon, but left the street scene before the bombs exploded. 

Eliot Bank, 36, is a lifelong runner who completed the race in three hours, nine minutes and 36 seconds. Thrilled with his accomplishment, he was celebrating with his wife and 3-month-old daughter in a hotel room across the street from the finish line when the bombs went off.

At first, they had a difficult time getting a hold of relatives to let them know they were OK. "It's terrible knowing they're in New York and Westchester and New Rochelle watching the news and have no idea," Bank says.

The Bank family rushed home to their three other children in New Jersey, but they are still haunted by how close they were to the chaos on the street below them.

Eliot Bank wonders what could have happened if he had completed the race later, and his family was at the finish line to greet him.
 

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