BOSTON MARATHON: Minn. runners share reasons for return - KMSP-TV

BOSTON MARATHON: Minn. runners share reasons for return

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The scars of the terrorist attack that ripped a gaping hole into one of America's grandest cities are still visible one year later, but at least two of the Minnesotans who witnessed it say they won't be scared away.

PHOTOS: Boston Marathon bombing tributes

"This is my bib from last year, the marathon medal," Paul Stein said as he demonstrated his mementos from last year's Boston Marathon.

Although Stein has plenty of memories of that achievement, the thing he remembers the most has nothing to do with crossing the finish line.

"I was about a block down," he recalled. "It sounded like a tinny canon."

He had just finished the race when the first bomb went off, and then the second.

"Couldn't see anything but smoke and chaos," he remembered.

Yet, even though his wife was across the street and suffered a concussion in the blast, both intend to return to Boston for this year's event.

"As a show of support for the people of Boston and all they endured -- that's one of the reasons, as well as planting the seed that the terrorists can't win," Stein explained.

Hennepin County Judge Jay Quam said he plans to head back to Boston too.

"It was my first marathon, and I thought it would be my last," he admitted.

Fox 9 News caught up with Quam at Twin Cities International Airport the night of the bombing. A year later, he says the tragedy isn't something he can run away from.

"It helps you realize how lucky you are -- how tragic it is for the people who weren't so lucky -- and it really helps drive you forward to do everything you can today," he said.

For John Rezac, the anniversary serves as a chance to put himself in someone else's running shoes. He and others at Lifetime Fitness turned a social run into a tribute to those who lost so much doing what they loved.

"What better way to remember Boston than by showing up in our Boston gear and going for a run?" he asked.

Although Rezac isn't running in the Boston Marathon this year because he wants to experience other races, Quam said he expects Boston will be the safest city in the world. Meanwhile, Stein said he is more worried about the flood of emotion he'll feel when he returns.

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