Runners will finish Garmin Marathon with Boston on their minds - KCTV5

Runners finish Garmin Marathon with Boston on their minds

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OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

One Boston Marathon bombing suspect is dead and the other is in custody late Friday night.

Some local runners who ran in the Boston Marathon were picking up their packets Friday for their next race - Saturday's Garmin Marathon in Olathe, KS. They offered reaction to the recent developments in Boston.

Seven-tenths of a mile is all that three Kansas City runners had to go in the Boston marathon when they were stopped due to the bombing. But Saturday they got to finish what they started, with a lot more meaning.

It could be said that the line being drawn for those needing to finish the Boston Marathon is also marking a moment for Boston and not backing down.

"Tomorrow morning I'll take them to this exact spot and these three ladies will get to finish that final 7/10 of a mile," running coach Eladio Valdez said Friday.

Sarah Bibens is one of those runners.

"My daughter ran out, pulled me off the course and told me the race was over," she said.

Bibens said she couldn't believe what happened next and now, while following the manhunt for suspects, she feels a more personal desire for justice.

"I thought once we left Boston I would feel distance from it, but no, that hasn't happened," she said.

It's the same for anyone who was there, sharing in the traumatic moment, now so deeply imprinted in America's history.

"It was just a night of unknown, you didn't know if you were safe," Boston Marathon runner Melissa Brancato said.

Brancato crossed the finish line about an hour before the explosions. Like so many, she has questions and hoped the second suspect could be captured quickly, alive and with answers.

"Really dig deep into finding out if there's an organization, what kind of group it is, and find answers that everybody wants," Brancato said.

While they waited for news of the capture, the runners did whatever they could - collecting money at Saturday's Garmin Marathon for One Fund Boston, helping the victims and their families.

"The sentiment that's strongest for me is of course hearing about the victims, and the two brothers who each lost a leg, and the 8-year-old boy," Bibens said.

But the strongest sentiment of all is the volunteers who ran to help and those who will keep running, all the while holding the line for Boston.

"We can't be scared to cross the finish line in any race, no matter where it's at," Bibens said.

Saturday's Garmin marathon brings out all types of runners. The two things they all have in common are they love to run and they were all still thinking about what happened in Boston.

"You don't really realize what you're doing and what you're running for until you get to that start line and you see that American flag and you hear our national anthem and just knowing how much Boston is united, it's just been an incredible feeling and my heart goes out to everyone in Boston," Lisa Carlson, from Atlanta, GA, said. "I think everyone was running with them in our hearts."

Marathoner Joe Heikes was in Boston on the course with his 16-year-old son.

"It was a great day until the incidents happened and that was, I would say, that really put a damper … I mean, obviously, it was, it really shook him up, quite a bit," he said.

Saturday's race was really two marathons in one – one for the regular runners and the end of the Boston Marathon for Bibens, Chau Smith and Whitney Jarvis.

"Able to have this medal and to be working so hard, for all of us, and able to finish and you let us do this and that means a lot and it's just … I have no words to describe that," Smith said.

When the runners took the final step across the finish line Saturday, they were hoping to have more closure than just the end of a race and they want to let everyone know they won't let a senseless act of violence stand in their way.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

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