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The road back to Boston: El Paso runners plan to return to finish marathon

By: Genevieve Curtis
EL PASO, Texas-- Some El Paso runners are Boston bound, gearing up to run the Boston Marathon again after last year's devastating bombings.
 
The marathon just announced new security procedures on Monday and Olga Rodriguez said shell feel safer going back to the race this year.
 
Rodriguez didnt get to cross the finish line last year, it was her first time at the Boston Marathon. The bombs went off before she could complete the race but this year she plans to finish what she started.
 
The road back to Boston begins on El Paso streets where Rodriguez runs every day.
 
I trained very hard for this marathon, said Rodriguez.
 
The goal is the same as last year: finish the Boston Marathon.
 
What Ive heard from other runners that have crossed the finish line they said there is nothing like it, said Rodriguez.
 
That moment was stolen from her and hundreds of others when terror replaced celebration. The bombs killed three people, injured or maimed more than 260.
 
Rodriguez was at mile 25 when her stride was brought to an abrupt stop. The runners, barricaded in, were told there were explosions at the finish line.
 
We started seeing everyone running, screaming. I started panicking because I couldn't get out. I couldnt find my kids, said Rodriguez.
 
She had made an unexpected stop earlier in the race, but had she been on pace like she plan to be Rodriguez said her children would have been waiting for her at mile 26.
 
That was our meeting spot, on the left hand side,
 
When her timing was off, her kids moved from that spot.
 
Guarding angels were watching over them; they were there and then they moved away and they were on their way back so they actually ended up a 100 yards away from the second explosion, said Rodriguez.
 
Its hard to qualify for the Boston Marathon and Rodriguez was already set to participate in one of the various qualifying marathons necessary to compete in Beantown.
 
But the Boston Marathon invited all of the runners who made it to at least the half marathon mark and did not get to finish.
 
Im honored that they invited us back, said Rodriguez.
 
She said she and many others are more motivated than ever.
 
 
This cant stop it. I think it gives us more determination, she said.
 
There will be strict security and almost double the amount of police. The bags given to runners will be clear. Spectators are asked not to bring bags.
Runners will even have limitations on their fuel belt and how much liquid they can carry.
 
But thats all fine with Rodriguez because it will make everyone feel safer.
 
At least you know you are going to be safe and your family is going to be safe, said Rodriguez.
 
Rodriguez said for several weeks after the bombings her children had hearing problems and headaches because they were so close to the explosions. Her son even had vertigo for a few weeks.
 
But she said even more family members plan to join her this year and support her run, the marathon and Boston.
 
Runners from around the world plan to return to the race where each step, each mile will mean more than the first.
 
This time, Rodriguez plans to finally cross a year-long finish line.
 
 
The marathon is April 21.

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