Michigan runners take on Boston Marathon one year after bombings - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Michigan runners take on Boston Marathon one year after bombings

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BOSTON, Mass. (WJRT) - (04/21/14) - It's been one year since the bombings at the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured hundreds more.

Monday, the runners were back. No matter where they came from, they have one thing in common: they're “Boston Strong.”

The energy in Boston is amazing. Everyone is coming together to celebrate the resolve of this city and the people here. Runners are pushing the limits and fans are making sure their voices are heard.

They hail from Mid-Michigan, but from their running shoes to their T-shirts, this group is Boston Strong.

It’s Hadley native Sue Imig’s first Boston Marathon. In 2010, she missed qualifying by 13 seconds.

Imig tells us the energy in Boston is amazing, and she’s adding to it, along with her running buddies.

“I made it," she said. "Dreams come true.”

It might be Imig’s first, but it’s Richard Wallen's one hundredth career marathon. Wallen, from Flushing, is about to celebrate his seventy-fifth birthday, and says he’s competing in the Boston Marathon again because the people in this city know their stuff when it comes to running.

“This is the place to be," he said. "This is the mecca of running right here, this is it. That’s why I am here to run my one hundredth marathon.”

The guys and gal spent long years training in the Michigan cold, but it’s not the grueling training that’s etched in their brains. They say they each remember exactly where they were when the Boston bombings took place.

“I was about three quarters of a mile out. I had family that was down near finish line. They were much more concerned than I was. I was safe, they weren’t. I feel bad that they had to experience that," said Fred Smith, of Flint.

But this year the experience is different - it’s all about being Boston Strong. You can see it everywhere around the city, from sweet treats to store windows.

“It’s like defiance. We’re going to be here, we’re going to do this. We’re going to show them that we’re stronger than anybody thinks we are," said Mark Bauman, of Flushing.

Bauman ran more than 150 marathons and has been training for nearly 50 years. He owns Bauman’s Running and Walking Shop in Flint, a place everyone in the group knows well.

Tough athletes or not – there’s a lot of emotion here.

“Seeing that replayed over and over and over again and then standing there, saying, 'Oh my gosh, this is where it happened," said Paul Zieske, of Linden.

So many people share that sentiment this year - the finish line a sacred place.

This city rocked, tested and resolved.

The Boston Marathon might be changed forever, but the spirit of this day truly is stronger, and our Michigan runners are proof of that.
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