Atmosphere keeps Del. runners returning to Boston

By Sean Greene 12:20am, April 17, 2014 - Updated 9:53am, April 17, 2014
VIDEO: Local runners on the atmosphere at the Boston Marathon
Several Delaware runners will be making repeat appearances at Monday's Boston Marathon.

WDEL's Sean Greene reports.

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This will be the first Boston Marathon since the bombings near the finish line marred the 2013 race. Despite that, local running clubs are sponsoring a bus with 53 Delaware runners who will will tackle the renowned 26.2 mile course.

Each runner has already accomplished a great feat, as Boston is one of the few marathons in the world where you need to run a qualifying time in order to enter the field. For this year's race, men 18-34 had to run a different marathon in 3:05 or less, or an average of about 7:03 per mile for the 26.2 miles. The qualifying time varies by age and gender.

The Pike Creek Running Club hosted a send-off party Wednesday at Catherine Rooney's in Trolley Square as a get-together before the big event for those heading to New England.

Lori Culnane of Bear will be running her fifth Boston Marathon Monday, and says the atmosphere in Boston, especially after last year, should make this race extra special.

"Just looking at the people lining the course as I'm running, I'm sure there's going to be all kinds of things in the beginning. The end, when I get to that finish line, I don't know, I feel like I'm going to cry right now, I don't know what I'm going to do on Monday," said Culnane.

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Newark High School alum Carissa Beatty, who will be running her second race in Boston this weekend, tells WDEL the Boston Marathon crowd is unique.

"It's a holiday in the city (Patriot's Day), everyone has the day off. People are cheering along the race course. There's just so much energy in the crowd, it's so exciting to be there and be a part of it. Any marathon is exciting, but Boston is just like no other," said Beatty.

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Keith Crispin of Bear ran last year's race in 3:09:12, finishing about an hour before the bombs went off. He says the point-to-point nature of the course from Hopkinton into Boston lends itself to the crowd.

"It's probably about the only marathon where you have wall-to-wall people from start to finish. It goes through so many towns, and every little town brings out about several hundred, maybe a thousand spectators. You can literally high-five all these little kids from start to finish, all the way to the end," said Crispin.

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This year's race promises a lot of changes due to increased security, but also will likely have an even more excitable atmosphere due to the "Boston Strong" motto picked up by the city shortly after last year's attack. Some estimates have put the potential crowd at one million for the length of the event.

From the "scream tunnels" at Wellesley College to the famous hills of Newton and the finish line near Fenway Park where the Orioles and Red Sox will play the same morning, this year's Boston Marathon promises to be a special day for all of the runners.

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