Raleigh runners honor Boston Marathon victims
Posted April 15
Raleigh, N.C. — Celia Mitchell vowed to return to the Boston Marathon.
She was competing in last year's race when the first explosion went off near her.
“I had a lot of fear,” she said.
Mitchell was also saddened by the deaths and hundreds of injuries resulting from the blasts.
For Mitchell, overcoming those emotions meant getting back on the road and running. Now she’s preparing to run in her fourth consecutive Boston Marathon.
"Something like that is not going to knock me down,” she said. “I am going to keep on going."
One year anniversary
Tuesday marked the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, when twin pressure-cooker bombs packed with explosives, nails and other shrapnel exploded near the finish line, killing three and injuring more than 260.
Four days after the bombing, brothers and suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were involved in an early morning shootout with authorities. Tamerlan was killed but Dzhokhar escaped. Boston was shut down as authorities searched for Dzhokhar, who was found about 12 hours later hiding in a boat inside a suburban backyard.
Dzhokhar is awaiting trial for the bombings and could face the death penalty.
Family members of those killed, survivors, dignitaries - including Vice President Joe Biden - and dozens of others gathered in the rain at the marathon finish line Tuesday morning for a remembrance ceremony, followed by a memorial tribute.
“Next Monday, on Patriots’ Day, when I’m told that the 36,000 people line up to start the marathon, you will send a resounding message around the world, not just to the rest of the world but to the terrorists, that we will never yield. We will never cower,” Biden said during the tribute. “America will never ever, ever stand down. We are Boston. We are America. We respond. We endure. We overcome and we own the finish line.”
Marathon organizers have increased security and first aid efforts for the 118th Boston Marathon, which will take place on Monday, including:
- Extra uniform and undercover police officers along the marathon route
- Over 100 cameras installed along the Boston portion of the marathon
- Upwards of 50 observation points set up around the finish line area
- 140 Boston EMS personnel and 13 ambulances along the Boston portion of the race
Running to honor the hurt
Mitchell was among a few dozen runners participating in a short run through north Raleigh Tuesday to mark the one year anniversary of the bombings.
Jim Michaels, who organized Tuesday’s run, hasn’t participated in the Boston Marathon in a decade.
He will be running in Monday’s race.
"It is near and dear to our hearts, the Boston Marathon," he said. “It is going to be an intense experience.”
Mitchell is going back to honor those who were hurt.
"I am hoping it will be the kind of emotion that will keep me going forward," she said. “There is going to be a lot of hugs and tears. But all for a good cause."