Bozeman runners to race in Boston Marathon again
April 15 will mark the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Three people were killed and 264 others injured during last year's Boston Marathon.
Two Bozeman runners, who vividly remember that day nearly one year ago, reflected back on the bombing, and shared what drove them to return to Boston to run in the race again this year.
For Bozeman resident John Dudas, the Boston Marathon has always been a special event.
"I wanted to run the Boston Marathan once and I did that in 2002, and haven't missed a race yet," Dudas said.
But last year, he decided, would be his last time running in Boston.
"Prior to the bombing, I was wondering if that would be the last year," he said. "In my mind it sort of was going to be the last year for me."
Neal Andrews also races every year, and also thought 2013 would be his last time running in the marathon.
"I didn’t plan to do the race again this year," Andrews explained.
But that was before a bombing at the finish line killed three and injured hundreds.
The men explained they will never forget how they felt when it happened. They had both finished the race before the bombs hit, but it still felt too close to home.
"Everything just kind of stopped," Andrews said. "Everything got quiet, and everyone just watched in disbelief."
"It was a little eerie in a sense that I was there, but I wasn't there at the time," Dudas said.
And the Boston Marathon took on a whole new meaning.
"This year certainly means even more as a time to honor the people hurt and killed," Dudas said.
"In the aftermath of what happened, I felt compelled to go back," Andrews said.
And as Andrews and Dudas head to Boston, they explained this race will be a symbol of the resilience of the running community, the city of Boston, and the United States.
"I wanted to go back almost as a statement to say, 'this is what we do, and we're not going to be scared, we're not going to be terrorized, and we're going to keep on doing this,'" Andrews said.
"Terrorist acts aren't going to keep us from doing what we love and from being together as a community," Dudas said.