Updated: 04/15/2014 10:39 PM
Created: 04/15/2014 5:51 PM KSTP.com
By: Ellen McNamara
Every third Monday in April, Boston celebrates Patriot's Day with the running of The Boston Marathon.
The Boston Marathon unites the best runners in the world, and on Patriot's Day, the city welcomes them with friendship and fellowship.
It has been one year, since three people were killed and more than 260 injured when two bombs went off at the finish line. After the bombings, people rallied around the words - Boston Strong.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS anchor and reporter Ellen McNamara has run in the race the last four years, and will be running again on April, 21. So will 614 other Minnesotans.
McNamara talked to a group of Minnesota runners who were there last year and will be back this year for the 118th Boston Marathon.
McNamara asked them what Boston Strong means to them. "To be Boston Strong, you have to at your age, and gender, you need to be a certain level athlete to get into it," said John Schueller, who is running in his 8th Boston Marathon.
While the majority of runners do have to qualify, there are others who run for charity, and others who run despite their disability.
There are people like Rick Hoyt, who has pushed his son along the 26.2 mile course, 31 times before.
"People come from all over the world not only to run it, but as you know the people who watch it, the whole experience, they're not going to let that change what Boston is and what The Boston Marathon is," said Mark Lindblom, who is running in his 3rd Boston Marathon.
Besides the runners, the course is lined with people, who are off of work and out of school. They celebrate for hours, until the final runner finishes.
The crowds' cheers get you up Heartbreak Hill around mile 21, when your legs feel like bricks.
Supporters also offer their hand in hopes that you'll give them a high five.
"Even though the bombings killed people, and hurt a lot of people, and maimed a lot of people, it's just to prove to people that we can still do it no matter what," said Michael Volker, who is running in his 14th Boston Marathon.
Jeff Baumann, seen in a famous photo being wheeled away from the finish line after the bombs went off, is Boston Strong. One year later, he is walking again, is engaged, and will soon be a father.
"For me, Boston Strong, means together as one, we can get through anything," said Lisa Kresky-Griffin, who is running in her 2nd Boston Marathon.
McNamara feels so strongly about the words, Boston Strong, that she put them on her car.
Boston Strong means, "being together, just we won't get defeated," said Seigo Masubuchi, who is running in his 6th Boston Marathon.
"Boston Strong captures the spirit of resilience and determination, you can't hold me back, you can't keep me down," said Diane Deigmann, who is running in her 2nd Boston Marathon.
All of the runners KSTP spoke with for this story have been training with Life Time Run. All of them were at the the race last year, and a few of them right near the finish line when the bombs went off.
You will hear their first hand accounts of what happened, and also hear why they feel like they have to go back to run, on the night before the marathon. Watch the story Sunday, April 20 on 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS 10 p.m.