What it Means to Run The Boston Marathon

10 runners weigh in on what finishing this year's race will mean to them

Runners are resilient; it’s an essence of the sport and this past year has made it more evident than ever before.

One year ago today we witnessed an attack on one of America’s most celebrated sporting events. Today, as athletes and as Americans we stand taller and stronger while we honor our heroes and remember those who were lost.

To commemorate the anniversary of last year’s Boston Marathon we’ve collected thoughts from a handful of runners who will participate in this year’s race, scheduled for Monday, April 21.

We asked what running the race this year means to them, Here’s what they had to say.

“As I’ve traveled the country going from one race to another this past year, I’ve been amazed at the outpouring of support and encouragement from every runner.  At hundreds of races, millions have bowed their heads in respect and prayer for Boston.  Hundreds of people just relayed across this great nation of ours to Boston, symbolizing that we as a nation are all in…we are all in this together.” —Dave McGillivray, Boston Marathon Race Director

"I really can't explain how happy I am to be flying back across the country in less than a week. Lacing up and lining up at that start line and running clear across the city to the finish—smiling the whole way. I have to remember this race is not about me, it's not about my time—it's about runners, Boston, survivors and making a comeback as a community. " —Teresa Howes, EatDrinkandBeSkinny.com

“A year ago I was at the Boston finish. My heart still aches for those affected, my soul rejoices for the strength they've shown.” Josh Cox, US 50k Record Holder (via Twitter)

“Finishing Boston for me will be like any other year. Being from Boston and on my home turf, it will be a time when I can combine my friends, family and love of running into one day. It's a celebration of life, unity and incredible achievements and no one, no matter how disgusting their acts are, will change that for me. It's my favorite day of the year.” —Liana Rogue, RuntoMunch.com

"This year is a very special year for the Boston Marathon and I cannot wait to cross the finish line with my head held high filled with great emotion!" —Bobbi McCormick, BobbiMcCormick.com

"Let us squash fear, uncertainty and sorrow with a united front of hope, resiliency and triumph. We are #bostonstrong." —Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor at Competitor.com (via Twitter)

“I am running because last year I was less than ten feet away from the 2nd bomb, and I was miraculously unscathed. I'm running because I refuse to let anyone take my favorite day of the year from me—Marathon Monday is my day. To finish this race is a year in waiting, it's a gift, it's a blessing: it's my own miracle.” —Nicole Bedard, TheGirlWhoRanEverywhere.com

“When I run this year I will be running for closure…for the end of one chapter and the beginning of another…I will be running to pay tribute to those lost & injured last year…I will be running BOSTON STRONG!!!” —Michelle LaVine, WestCoastRunner.com

"United! Hard to believe it has been a year. The running community is one community not to mess with." — Scott Fishman, Team All-American Coach (via Twitter)

“I raced the Boston Marathon in 2013. I was not physically harmed that day but am still haunted by the memories and thoughts of what could have been and grave sadness for everyone who was hurt or who lost their loved ones.  It was so real and the people who were hurt were all just like you or me. I struggle to find peace with the events that occurred. I will be running the Boston Marathon again this year. I need to run it again to see for myself that everything can be ok again.  I am training harder than ever with the full knowledge that April 21st may be more difficult than I can imagine. I know that I am not alone in feeling this way and we will run together and lift each other up as we cross that finish line on Boylston Street.” —Sandra LaFlamme, OrganicRunnerMom.com