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One year later, Triangle runner heads back to Boston Marathon

Posted April 21, 2014

If running is a religion, then Celia Mitchell is fanatic.

"Anyone that can run 26.2 miles is either a little nutty or just resilient,” the Triangle woman joked.

Mitchell has been training for the Boston Marathon. She has competed in 18 marathons, but this one will be like no other. It’s been one year since two bombs were set off at the finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 200.

"I am running because there are people out here that can’t run,” Mitchell said. “I am running here thinking about those families and first-responders.”

With each mile, Mitchell will honor the Boston Marathon victims knowing she could have been one. She was at mile 26 when the first explosion happened.

“That’s when I heard the first bomb and I just looked over to my left, and it was 30 yards to my left,” Mitchell said. "I didn’t know it was a bomb. I thought maybe a transformer had blown in the building because debris was coming into the street.”

Ten seconds later, the second bomb went off.

"I remember looking back at it and seeing a fireball,” Mitchell said. “It was so loud, and that’s when something kicked into me and I said, ‘You need to get away from this place. You need to go.’”

Now, Mitchell is going back to Boston. It's a testament to the spirit of a long-distance runner.

“You’re not going to knock us down,” she said. “That’s not going to hold us back.”


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  • Terri Dowd Apr 21, 2014
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    Why did the reporter call Celia Mitchell "Celia Marshall" all through the piece?

  • Jeanne Gunn Apr 21, 2014
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    Good luck to Ms. Mitchell and Kelcey Carson as well (great to see her interview with Sloane Heffernan).