FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Local runners are returning home from the Boston Marathon. Runners said it was a successful, triumphant race.
Beth Schrader, of Fort Wayne, ran the race for the first time. She spent weeks preparing for it. She knew what happened last year. Two bombs went off near the finish line, killing three and wounding 260 people. Schrader said that wasn’t going to deter her from running this year. She was in awe and can’t wait to go run the race soon.
“The spectaters, the fans, the community, unbelievable,” she said. “I have to come back here. They’re just amazing.”
Schrader ended up running into a woman during the race that ran the marathon last year. Schrader said she was crying during the run because she was nervous and full of doubt. The woman Schrader ran with was in last year’s race and by mile 25, she heard the bombs go off and wasn’t able to finish the race. They ran together until the end.
“She was just, a little scared to keep running. So she was out there, didn’t want to run by herself, so we ran together.”
Ashley Sprunger was a return runner to the 118th Boston Marathon. Her first time running in the race was last year. She said she wasn’t able to finish the race because of the bombings. This year, she crossed the finished line and said it was a remarkable experience.
“When I crossed that finish line, I felt like there was just a huge weight lifted off my shoulders that have been there for the past year,” Sprunger said. “I think it was redemption.”
Sprunger said it was evident; runners took back the Boston Marathon.
“We’ll always remember the people we lost and all the victims that were affected by that race. But I think we have taken the race back,” said Sprunger.
More than 36,000 runners ran this year’s race, 9,000 more than usual. Boston Marathon officials wanted to allow those who didn’t finish last year to cross it this year.
A makeshift memorial was at this year’s finish line to honor those who died last year after the bombings went off.