SOUTH BELOIT (WIFR) -- It’s been one year since bombers set off two explosives at the finish line at the Boston Marathon, a tragedy that isn't stopping thousands of runners from taking part in this year's race, including several runners from the Stateline.
Andrea Amend ran her first Boston Marathon in 1996; she says it’s a race like no other Aand she would know, she's run 42 marathons in 36 states. 2014 will be her fifth straight year running in Boston.
"I’ve had points where I’ve stopped and walked and the crowd gets me going again, it's just amazing," says Andrea Amend of South Beloit.
Amend ran in 2013 with a friend and remembers being in the finisher’s chute when the first bomb went off.
"We had the smoke coming towards us. It was surreal, the police were yelling for us to get out of there as fast as we could," says Amend.
Being in the midst of it all made the South Beloit runner hesitant to go back but in the end, she says her husband convinced her to go. He'll be there too volunteering as a medic.
"It’s Boston, you have to do it, you have to show that we're runners and we can handle anything," Amend says.
Another local runner, Jen Black, says she is running again in Boston because last year was the first time she ran the race and she didn't want that to be her only finish.
There are 36,000 official entrants in the 118th Boston Marathon, including at least a dozen from the Rockford area.
Two brothers were suspected in the bombings, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Dzhokhar is in jail and is expected to go to trial in November. He’s pled not guilty. His brother was killed in a shoot-out with police.