Local runners return to Boston, 'We are not afraid'

By Kelly McCarthy

April 18, 2014 Updated Apr 18, 2014 at 10:44 PM EST

Binghamton, N.Y. (WBNG Binghamton) It's been one year since the Boston Marathon Bombings and hundreds of thousands of runners and spectators will make their way back to the city's streets.

The last time our local runners were at Boston, many of them narrowly missed the bombing attacks that killed three people and injured more than 250 others.

"My first immediate reaction after the bombs went off was that I wasn't going to go back," said Emily Taylor of Binghamton.

But, like many other runners, Taylor's decision did not last for long. People said it was the 'Marathon spirit' that made the decision to return to Boston an easy one.

"Once the whole thing kind of settled in and we understood what had happened," said Chris Cowden of Vestal. "I pretty much knew there was nothing that was going to keep me from going back this year."

This year, there are changes in security. Runners can no longer carry backpacks or water bottles with them to the start, along with a list of other items. Also, the finish line will be limited off from spectators.

"We saw those images of that finish line when the bombs went off," Cowden said. "And this will be the first time we see that again and all of a sudden we're going to find ourselves smack dab in the middle of it."

These images are what pushed many of the runners to train during the harsh winter months.

"There were some tough training this winter," said Brian Cupp of Newark Valley, "And during those snowy days it was always, okay, you're doing this for April 21, Boston Marathon Monday."

Marathon runners said it's hard to image what the race will be like this year, but one thing is for sure: the streets will be filled with passion, unity, and resilience.

"I can't believe there's going to be many Marathoners that are going to have dry eyes in that last 200 meters," Cowden said.

Some runners crossing the finish line after 26.2 miles might not be doing it for themselves, but for Boston.

The 118th Boston Marathon takes place on Monday and the race begins at 10:00 am.

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