BOSTON (CBS) — Less than a mile from the Boston Marathon finish, runner Phil Vaughn captured the chaos and confusion on a small video camera strapped to his head, the moment police stopped the crowd, announcing runners could not continue to the end.
“There were so many unknowns that sort of occupy your thoughts,” said Vaughn, a WBZ-TV editor. “ Every day that I run, you can’t run without thinking of it.” He is training to finish what he started April 21st. “I think it affected the psyche of the people of Boston and outlying communities for a while, but I think everyone’s going to rally back and make the Boston Marathon what it has been and will be.”
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To truly understand the mix of emotions, one needs to look back on everything those runners had invested. Take Tom Nealon for example, running for liver patient Zack Rue. At the end of the 2012 Boston Marathon, WBZ-TV did and on-camera interview with Nealon, “I’m feeling a little light-headed,” he said, just before he collapsed and was whisked away to the hospital. He later explained what happened.
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“I wake up, and there’s something going on my chest, and I turned blue.” He promised his wife 2013 would be his last marathon. He never made it to the finish. “OK let’s sign up one more time and this definitely will be one more time.”
A month later, the Boston Athletic Association officially invited more than 5,600 runners stopped before the finish last year, guaranteed a spot.
“To finally get past where we got stopped,” explained Pat Montain of Holliston. 2013 was her first marathon. “You’ve trained all that time to be able to run down that avenue,” said one of her running partners, David Keim.
Joanne O’Connell runs in honor of her son Tim, who lost his battle with leukemia just before his tenth birthday. She knows how lives lost in the bombings will inspire runners this year.
“Thinking of the people who’ve passed will carry more people,” she said. Jeff McLinden also runs to raise money for her son’s foundation. “It’s emotional finishing a marathon anyways when you’ve worked so hard getting over that finish line, but this year especially, just because we were denied.”
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