PIQUA, Ohio (WDTN) – Every step on the pavement is another step closer to Boston.
Runners gathered for a celebratory sendoff at Can’t Stop Running in Piqua on Tuesday night. Family and friends congratulated seven runners heading to the Boston Marathon by a small celebration with goodie-bags, Boston lagers, and a nearly 3-mile run through downtown.
“Just a fun easy run to loosen up the legs,” said Bernie Vogel, one of the runners heading to Boston.
This year’s marathon, however, will bring a little more emotion to the race. Several of the runners in Piqua finished the race last year before the bombs went off on Boylston Street.
“I really don’t know what’s going to be happening,” said Vogel. “I’m thinking it might be a very emotional when you get down to that street. The crowds are so intense.”
It was year ago when one of the athletes was preparing for his first run in the Boston Marathon. Kyle Brumbaugh finished an hour and a half before the bombs killed three people and injured many other runners and spectators.
“Over the year, you take in a lot of stories,” said Brumbaugh, returning to the Boston Marathon for a second run. “For a lot of people coming back, it’s going to be unfinished business. They were so close to finishing and they were turned away.”
It is unfinished business not just for the runners returning, Brumbaugh says, but for those killed or injured that day.
A year later, he feels the community truly is Boston Strong.
“This is an opportunity for us to come together as a large group and move forward for those people,” said Brumbaugh.