Local runner returns to Boston marathon - KCTV5

Local runner returns to Boston marathon

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PARKVILLE, MO (KCTV) -

Last year's Boston Marathon attack stunned not just Boston, but the nation. Especially since participating runners were from across the country, including right here in Kansas City.

At least 36,000 people are expected to run in this year's marathon, meaning more than twice as many runners could cross the finish line as last year.

Among those registered is a local runner who witnessed the attacks at last year's race.

It's one of those days in Jerry Hickey's life he will never forget. He was running in his seventh Boston Marathon and had a great time: 3:09.

He finished the race a full hour before the bombs went off and was sitting with a friend at a nearby Panera.

"We were still on the finishing line street, about 300 yards from the finish," Hickey said. "We were sitting in the back of the restaurant, didn't hear anything, but some people in the front jumped up simultaneously and ran to the window."

And, that's where Hickey would sit and wait, unaware of what was happening outside. Patrons were not allowed to leave, cell phones were not working and rumors were flying as to what might have happened.

"When everything happened that day, my buddy and I said 'We'll be back.' At first it was more of an act of defiance."

Now, he will return to pound the 26.2 mile stretch of Boston pavement as an act of solidarity with the resilient running community, and a city that has proven its strength.

"There was no way I wasn't going to be there this year."

Hickey has been preparing for the Boston Marathon for months - not an easy feat in this year's Kansas City winter. But he says he's ready, and hoping to beat his best-ever Boston time of 2:54.

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