Valley Runners Prepare for Boston Marathon 1 Year After the Bomb - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Valley Runners Prepare for Boston Marathon 1 Year After the Bombings

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Some runners from the Shenandoah Valley are preparing to get “Boston strong” Tuesday. Marathoners are gearing up for the 2014 Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21.

The message of runners from Staunton and Fishersville is that even though they - or family members - had close calls last year, they will not give up their passion, and they look forward to returning to Boston to do what they love.

Dr. Kerry Alexander is gearing up for his seventh time at the Boston Marathon. He hadn't planned on coming back this time, but after his daughter narrowly avoided the bombs last year, he decided he would not let evil done by few curb his most prized hobby.

"It was almost an obligation to do it,” said Alexander. "I think a lot of people, when things like that happen, have this sense of wanting to do something to kind of stand up to it and not crawl into a hole. and so I'll be part of 36,000 other people running the marathon.”

Fellow runner Paul Shifflett feels the same way. He has his own story from last year’s marathon.

"I finished about 45 minutes to an hour before the bombs went off and me and my wife were actually having lunch about a block or a half block away. It was just a terrible scene,” said Shifflett.

Shifflett and Alexander, along with many others, were shocked and saddened by what happened to a city with which they share such strong ties.

"I spent a lot of time in that area and it was particularly poignant because my daughter was there,” said Alexander.

But they remain “Boston strong,” along with the thousands of others that will unite once again next Monday.

"We're not going to just back down and not run anymore; that's what we do. I think Boston this year will be bigger than ever. I'm just excited to get back,” said Shifflett.

Both men head to Boston later this week. They say the history and high energy of the Boston Marathon has always been special, but returning this year, even more so.

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