Minnesotans Prepare Physically, Emotionally for Boston Marathon

Updated: 04/12/2014 8:08 PM
Created: 04/12/2014 3:10 PM
By: Kate Renner

In nine days, tens of thousands of runners will be crossing a finish line terrorized last year by a bombing.

Officials for the Boston Marathon have made some significant changes to their security measures affecting what runners can bring, wear and where spectators can watch.

But that won't stop 36,000 runners from racing through the streets of Boston and more than one million spectators from cheering them on.

There are 615 runners in Minnesota who are expected to run in it this year.

Bree Williamson was only one and a half blocks past the finish line when she heard the blasts.

“I still have dreams about it," Williamson said. "I still think about it when I went out there I left a 4 month old at home, and just thinking about her had she been at the finish line."

She plans to run again this year, again with thoughts of her 16-month-old daughter Reagan, as her biggest fan.

“This year is really about reclaiming hope for me and choosing to not live by fear,” said Williamson.

Williamson said she's received help from the Boston Athletic Association, offering counseling services and webinar sessions in preparation for what could be a traumatic flashback to the terror on the streets of Boston.

“Talking about it with other it helps with the healing process,” said Williamson.

Community also helps Williamson. At least 200 Minnesota runners met in Gold Medal Park, many of them taking their final training run today.

“After everything that happened, I thought of course I have to try again, it can't be the end,” said Lydia Greis, Boston Marathon runner.

"Right after the bombings I committed to running again, saying this is not going to slow me down,” said Steve Aggregaard, Boston Marathon runner.

In fact the response has been overwhelming, double the amount of spectators from last year are expected to line the streets. The marathon even opened up 9,000 more spots for runners.

“Last year can't be the final word," Aggregaard said. "We need to go out and really celebrate running as a great lifetime sport. That's why I’m going back.”

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