Jacksonville, FL - The Boston Marathon is on pace to be one of the biggest in years, and a large group from the First Coast is lacing up and ready to run.
“I think it’s going to be an emotional day and an exciting day, and I’m so glad I get to go back,” says Catherine Buskirk from Atlantic Beach.
Buskirk’s first Marathon was last year, and she knew immediately that she “had to” come back- even though she didn’t requalify based on her time. She and a small group traveled to Duluth, Minnesota to run in another marathon in order to make it in to Boston this year.
For Buskirk, she felt compelled to return because of the personal impact of the bombings last year.
“My mom and my dad and my sister were standing during the entire race at one of the sites of one of the bombs. Thank God I finished 20 minutes before the first explosion happened, or my family would have been right there,” she says.
Not all making the trip this year were at last year’s Marathon, however, or really thought they would be there this year.
Ron Porter from Arlington tells me he watched everything unfold while at work last year, and immediately thought he wouldn’t return.
“My experiences there in the past, and the desire to be there and support them just continues to draw stronger on me,” he says.
It grew so strong, that Porter is now returning for his fourth Marathon.
“The race in Boston and the City of Boston is a fantastic place to be on Marathon weekend,” Porter says.
For Buskirk, just getting to participate in the Boston Marathon is significant, let alone coming back after last year.
“You’re a part of a race that’s going to make history and you get to cross the finish line- I don’t think there’s going to be another race that’ll ever be like it again,” she says.
Both are excited to show the Marathon that the First Coast remains “Boston Strong.”