Minneapolis — More than 600 people from Minnesota registered to run the Boston Marathon this year. Last year 418 Minnesotans finished while 32 didn't cross the finish line after two bombs exploded. Many made it their mission to return.
Elinor Scott is one of them. The St. Louis Park runner was just a mile from the finish line last year when the bombs went off. She wanted to return and finish the last leg but stage four pancreatic cancer almost stopped her.
She had chemo a week before the race but managed to walk and run the last mile, crossing the finish line under 25 minutes.
"I felt very happy to have completed what I set out to do. I felt like I could finally check that box off but most of all I felt like I had told myself I could accomplish something again and I felt inspired," Scott said.
Among those Minnesotans running was Senator Scott Dibble (MN-DFL). Last year Dibble already finished the race when he heard the news. He returned this year with Minneapolis written on one arm and Boston on the other.
"The whole idea of Boston strong, it's kind of this national feel," Dibble said.
Runner Gregg Robertson carried the Boston Strong spirit even though the elite runner hailed from Duluth.
"I wanted to show everybody that we are going to support Boston and it's not going to happen again and it's going to be a great day," Robertson said.
Around 70 runners from the Lifetime Fitness Boston Marathon training group crossed the finish line Monday as well. They trained through the harsh winter to return to Boston.
"When the volunteer put the medal around my neck, I just lost it. It was really special," said Diane Deigmann, a Lifetime runner from Burnsville, who finished last year just before the bombing.
Rebekah Mayer, National Training Manager with Life Time Run was the first place woman from Minnesota, finishing with a time of 2:59:37.
"When I had moments that felt tough I might be passing someone that was an amputee. That was serious inspiration on the course," she said.
Many said they ran with the victims in mind, and were carried by spectators, who repeatedly thanked runners for returning.
"The sun was shining on Boston today," said Tom Christian, of Bloomington, who finished his race in 3:57:10.