She was buried in the rubble and nearly died.
"I couldn't move," she said. "As hard as I tried to move, I couldn't move."
Talley was coming in and out of consciousness when rescue workers found her trapped in a vertical wall of rubble and debris. All they could see, she said, was her butt, which caught their attention in part because she was wearing a suit with a loud houndstooth pattern. She jokes that it's her backside that saved her.
"I always say, 'Thank you, Mom and Dad for giving me a nice size booty,'" she told me, laughing. That's something she's only been able to do with distance.
Three rescuers stayed through a second bomb scare, she said, to pull her from the rubble when others had left the disaster site, fearing for their lives.
"When they pulled me out, I was blue and I was losing oxygen. I probably would have died if they had left me" during the second scare, she said.
She still keeps in touch with one rescuer and her ambulance driver.
Talley said she'll never put the tragedy behind her. Eighteen of her 33 coworkers at a credit union were killed that day, she said. For years, she had nightmares. Blooming trees and flowers can cause her to slide into depression.
"Everything about the month of April makes you really, really think about that. Even though it's been 18 years, it seems like not so long ago."
On Sunday, the sun was out and flowers were in bloom. But Talley was in high spirits. Seeing all these strangers running for her friends who died, and in support of her ongoing recovery, is an intense and meaningful experience.
Her advice for runners like Hunt who experienced something in Boston that may change them for a long time, if not permanently?
Keep doing marathons -- or get deeply involved in another community activity.
"Always be around a marathon," she said. "Whether you can run it or not, there's such energy from a marathon."
'I'm not in New England anymore'
Hunt's energy reserves seemed nearly exhausted around the halfway mark. It's not that she was out of fuel, but she could feel a new tightness in her legs; she figured it was residual from the marathon she ran less than two weeks before.
I caught up with her briefly between miles 17 and 18.
She had spoken with her mom on the phone a mile or so before. That was a good pick-me-up, she said. Her mom is one reason she was running in the first place.
Hunt had never run a marathon before Boston, and was able to enter that time-regulated race because she was raising money -- about $3,000 -- for cancer research and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Her mom was diagnosed with a rare, cancerous tumor on her face about two years ago, she said. The treatment was "hard to watch," she said, because it involved radiation that burned her mother's face.
Hunt also had scares with cancerous cells in her cervix a few years ago.
She had only taken up running about a year before Boston. It started with a one-mile run -- she wanted to test herself. With characteristic gusto, she ended up running more than a dozen races over the course of the year.
Hearing her story makes me believe I'll be able to complete a marathon by next year. She makes it sound so easy. You just have to commit. And then go.
She trained largely by herself, and lost more than 50 pounds in the process.
As I trotted along beside her for five or 10 minutes, I noticed she was sweating, and she told me she hadn't expected it to be this hot or hilly in Oklahoma. Temperatures topped 80 degrees that afternoon. When I found her, she was walking down a hill in a neighborhood, conserving energy and taking it slow because of the heat.
"I'm not in New England anymore," she said.
Throughout the morning, she kept hearing sirens, too.