Runner’s promise to make it back to Boston Marathon

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Boston Strong is a state of mind that extends well beyond the city limits.

It lives in the heart of a local woman and just as she promised me nearly one year ago, she is heading back to Bean Town.

“I want to go back. I am going back. I will be in Boston next year.” Heather Ekola doesn’t run away from a promise.

Two months after the Boston Marathon bombings, when I first caught up with her, she was already doing the footwork to get there again.

Katie:  “So, here you are, nearly one year out, gearing up for Boston 2014. Are you ready?”

Heather:  “Yeah, I think I’m ready. It feels good. I’m excited to go back.”

Blue and yellow, the colors of the famous run fill the room at Up and Running where she is preparing for a fundraiser for the marathon, now just 45 days away.

She is part of Team Hoyt. Dick has pushed his son, Rick, in more than a thousand races. April 21 will be their 32nd and final Boston Marathon.

Marathon runner fundraiser for Team Hoyt
Marathon runner fundraiser for Team Hoyt

Heather is running to raise money for their foundation, a charity with the purpose of bettering the lives of people with disabilities. “They’re so inspiring!”

“This is a bucket raffle. These are mostly gift cards.”

Heather is a charity runner. All of the money raised benefits the Hoyt Foundation.

“Over here, there’s a couple autographed things. There’s Joe Morgan from the Cincinnati Reds, he’s a legend, he autographed a baseball for us.”

She didn’t finish the race last year because of the attack. Her husband filmed this video as he waited for her at the finish line. The mother of three is determined to finish what she started and help people along the way.

“You can’t let the terrorists have their way. You have to go back and say that’s not okay, we’re going to come back even stronger and they are. This year’s race is going to have 9,000 more runners than it did last year because everybody wants to run Boston.”

The fundraising raffle for the Hoyt Foundation is Saturday morning at 11:00 at Up and Running on Far Hills Avenue near Whipp Road.

There are more than 75 raffle prizes and 100 percent of ticket sales support the Hoyt Foundation. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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