Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


April 24, 2014

Reclaiming the marathon from terror's grip


There were other inspiring stories from the race.

Marblehead’s Shalane Flanagan led the women’s field for much of the race before falling back in the Newton hills. She finished seventh as Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo claimed the women’s title.

The elite runners are only part of the story. The ordinary runners totaled more than 35,000, the second-largest field in Boston Marathon history. Among them were many who had been unable to complete last year’s race as the bombs turned the finish line ahead of them into chaos.

Jeff Glasbrenner told the Associated Press he returned to Boston for some “unfinished business.” Glasbrenner had been forced to stop at mile 25.9 last year following the bombing.

“I felt like those two bad guys stopped a lot of people from going after their dreams. I needed to come back,” said Glasbrenner, 41, who runs with a prosthetic right leg after losing part of his leg in a childhood farming accident.

Also crossing the finish line were some of those injured in last year’s attack.

Lee Ann Yanni, whose left leg was badly injured in the bombing, said she could feel the energy of the crowd pushing her to the finish.

“It was really emotional crossing the finish line,” she told the Associated Press. “We got our finish line back. That’s all that mattered.”

Security at the race was heavy, with cameras and police everywhere. It was an unfortunate but necessary measure that was, for the most part, unobtrusive.

Thanks to the efforts of runners, organizers and spectators alike, the Boston Marathon is back where it belongs — out of the hands of terrorists and solidly in the hearts of the people of New England.

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