CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- One runner from last year's Boston Marathon remembers what her run was like when the bombs exploded. A year ago, three people were killed and 260 others injured when two bombs detonated at the Boston Marathon finish line. Tuesday, the nation mourned that tragic day as one area runner looks back with WCIA-3's Gary Brode.
"America will never, ever, ever stand down. We are Boston. We are America. We respond. We endure. We overcome and we own the finish line."
The nation remembers this day in Boston. Lifelong runner, Julie Mills, remembers what happened because she was there.
"We were about a half mile back, when we were stopped."
Mills' husband was waiting at the finish line for her when the explosions happened. For nearly two hours, Mills and her running partner frantically looked to find their significant others.
"So, we were walking and walking, and, saw her husband, Danny, and the first thing out of his mouth was, 'Pat's okay, too.'"
Since then, races have seen tighter security, including the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon.
"We've just sort of moved towards the way the stadium is used for UI games and that in and of itself makes it a safer environment."
No matter what the precautions, Mills believes there is only so much security can do.
"You're talking about 26 miles of public roads. What are you going to do? I'm not sure that you can make it a secure sport."
Despite everything that's happened, Mills was planning on going back to Boston this year, but an injury prevented that.
"It's the anniversary, to show solidarity with the people who are injured to be back. Going to Boston is a dream, so just to be back there and be part of it, we're both pretty crushed we're not there."
Not a perfect ending to the one year anniversary. There were more security issues in Boston. Police took a man into custody for allegedly leaving two unattended backpacks at the finish line. The bags were found late in the afternoon and the area was evacuated.
Time is running out until the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon. There are 19,000 runners signed up; a drop of 1,700 from last year. The race with the biggest number of people is the 5K.
CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- The Boston bombing had a direct impact on last year's Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon. It happened just days after the tragedy.
New security measures were implemented and they'll continue this year. The race's co-director says runners don't seem to mind the changes.
One of the featured speakers at this year's marathon is an author who wrote a book after talking with hundred of those running the Boston Marathon about their experiences and what they learned from it.
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