Nearly 5,000 athletes running the annual Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon Sunday were stopped just short of the finish line when there was the report of an active shooter.
For one of those athletes, Roselyn Kaki, there wasn’t time to think.
“I think instinct, just run, and especially at the end of a marathon, you have nothing left,” Kaki said.
Kaki started running the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon three years ago, but she could never have anticipated what happened at Sunday’s race.
She was nearing the corner to the last .2 mile of the course when she realized something was wrong.
“This one lady across the street started yelling at me, ‘Get down, get down!’ and I’m like ‘why? Why are we getting down?',” Kaki said.
The situation was confusing and, not knowing how to respond, Kaki just kept running.
“That’s when I started to notice all the cop cars going around me, but I just kind of still kept going toward the finish line, and as I got closer I noticed all the runners were gone, there was something big going on,” she said.
Officers had fired at a female suspect who had what turned out to be an airsoft gun in the Parkade near the Civic Center, approximately two blocks from the finish line.
The race was delayed about 30 minutes and the woman was eventually taken into custody.
Kaki and the woman who had warned her to get down were able to find each other after the race and check in, but she said at the moment it was hard to know what to do.
“Do I run and take cover, do I keep going, but I was so close so I’m like I have to finish it,” she said.
She was also worried that other people might need help.
In light of what happened in Boston in 2013, Kaki said she was grateful something similar didn’t happen Sunday.
“Boston is still always in our hearts,” she told NBC 7.
She said the running community is strong and people care about each other.
"Everyone is always looking out for someone, even the non-runners," she explained. "Like this lady was not a runner, but she still was looking out for me."
No athletes were injured in the incident.
Race officials said they will be communicating with athletes in the coming days to figure out how to handle the delay when it comes to finishing times.