“Boston Strong” is the moniker that emerged from Boston a year ago, describing the way people dealt with the tragic events that marred the 117th annual running of the Boston Marathon.
Three spectators were killed and 264 more people injured when homemade bombs exploded near the finish line along Boylston Street.
The spirit of “Boston Strong” has extended to a trio of local runners who were there last year and will be running again on Monday as part of the 118th version of the historic event that started in 1897 with a total of 18 runners and has since grown into one of the largest and most recognized marathons in the world.
Andy Williams of Middlebury, Kyle Bontrager of Shipshewana and Atlee Lambright of Topeka are three of the local runners competing on Monday.
Other area runners who qualified for the marathon are Scott Miller and Delbert Yoder of Goshen, Jacob Frost of Bristol and Loretta Lecount of Elkhart.
“There is a little bit of apprehension, but you can’t live in fear,” said the 26-year-old Williams, who will be running in his fifth overall marathon and second Boston Marathon.
“It is extremely important for the marathon to go on. Any act of terrorism is trying to put fear into our hearts. We have to show how important it is to continue to do the things we love.
“Safety has to be in the back of everyone’s mind, but what you don’t want to do is make it a huge concern. We are more likely to die in a car accident than having something happen on Monday.”
This will also be Lambright’s second time running at Boston.
“Obviously there are some concerns about safety, but there also concerns about flying on an airplane to get to Boston,” said Lambright, 32. “You know there is going to be heightened security. The officials are going to be doing their job by staying ahead of and on top of the game.”