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26 local runners compete in Boston Marathon - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

26 local runners compete in Boston Marathon

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A year after the bombing at the Boston marathon's finish line, thousands of runners from around the world gathered to run again.

We had 26 runners from our area in the race.

11 runners from Columbus made the journey to Boston to run the 26 miles. One of them was David Marley, a cross country coach at Columbus State. We spoke with him minutes after he finished the race.

We also spoke with a runner who raced last year when the bombing happened. They both say the running community is stronger than any attack.

Runners from west Georgia and east Alabama were among the thousands in Boston for the first marathon since the 2013 bombing. David Marley competed in his first race and he saw security every step of the way.

“There was a lot of security out. Cops everywhere all on the 26.2 mile course lined up,” Marley said.

Auburn student Jessica Ridley ran the race last year and she remembers noticing the amount of people on the streets.

“What is different about it is the crowd. There are pretty much people every step of the way. You're never alone,” Ridley said.

And those crowds are helpful to runners.

“I went out a little too fast. I was hurting. I wanted to stop. I wanted to start walking. Everybody was cheering you on and it keeps you going,” said Marley.

Some runners didn't finish last year because of the bombing. Ridley knows an Opelika man who went back to cross the finish line.

“That is very heartbreaking to know that you couldn't finish the actual race. Some people are going back so they can actually finish the marathon and hopefully not having to be turned back around,” said Ridley.

Marley did make it to the finish line. He didn't know if fans would be comfortable there.

“It was packed. That area, it didn't faze people. I'm sure it did. They had a little memorial out there. It is not going to stop any people from coming out here and watching the race,” said Marley.

“One person can't stop such a good event. You can't let one person who wanted to do something terrible control something that is doing something good,” said Ridley.

This was Marley’s first Boston marathon. He says he is exhausted, but, he would definitely do it again.

One of the runners is a seventy year old man from Opelika. He was turned around before the finish line last year. His running club says he was eager to go back and finish this year.

Dayne Young

Dayne is a sports anchor and reporter for WRBL. He started covering the Chattahoochee Valley in September 2012. More>>

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