READING, Pa. -

The terror attacks in Boston were just too close for comfort for one man from Reading.

Craig Peiffer, who works at Reading city hall in the zoning department, participated in the Boston Marathon, and completed the race in three hours and four minutes, a personal best.

"Being there was an amazing opportunity," said Peiffer.

Sadly, Peiffer's memories of the marathon will forever be associated with terror and destruction.

About an hour after Peiffer crossed the finish line, two bombs exploded, killing three people, injuring more than 180 people, authorities said.

"So far, it hasn't set in," said Peiffer. "It could have been a lot worse had those bombs detonated earlier. There were a lot more people built up in that spot an hour before when I passed. It could have taken out a lot more people."

Craig and his friend had plans to remain in Boston until Thursday to attend a worship service led by President Barack Obama for the victims killed and injured by the explosions.

But, too distraught, Craig and his friends left Boston, and narrowly avoided being confined to the area on lock down, along with millions of other innocent people in the area.

"In retrospect, thank God. It's as impactful as not being there when those explosions took place. Thank God we're not there now and having to deal with this lock down," Peiffer said.

Peiffer adds the terrorist attacks have not damped his spirit, and he looks forward to running in the Boston Marathon next year