Local Runners Talk About Experience At Boston Marathon (VIDEO)

By Rachel Martin - 21Alive

April 21, 2014 Updated Apr 21, 2014 at 11:13 PM EDT

BOSTON/FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – This year marked the 118th run of the Boston Marathon, but this year was special as approximately one million people showed up to take the city back from last year's tragic bombings. Here is a story on two local people who made the trek out east.

Nine runners from Fort Wayne ran in this year's Boston Marathon.

For Grant Stieglitz it's his 29th marathon overall, but his second experience at Boston. He was there last year and experienced the bombings first hand. But this year was different.

"There was a lot of spectators and we had about 36,000 that participated today in the Boston Marathon,” said Stieglitz.

Grant finished with a time 2:48:55 and placed 863rd out of 36,000. He says that time wasn’t his goal, but he was reminded why he was really running.

"I was really overwhelmed because of all the support of people, but I took into consideration too that after the race that we are running for Boston and we are Boston Strong so this is for all the people,” he said.

It was cancer survivor Beth Schrader's first Boston experience. After getting on the course she said her months of training were forgotten.

"I got to mile nine and thought I need to take in this moment and everyone was. There were signs everywhere that would say, 'Boston: Today we run as one,' and that was the vibe. It was the vibe of individual efforts, it was the vibe of, we're taking back the city,” said Schrader.

During the race, Schrader encountered a woman who ran 25.5 miles before being stopped when the bombs went off.

"So I stopped and asked her are you OK? She kind of broke down and she said I can't do this by myself. I said ok, no problem, I'll run with you. We're both crying on the course and at one point we're holding hands because it was just like trying to carry each other up the hills and also this feeling of kind of survivorship and camaraderie. It was amazing,” she said.

Schrader had already won her battle with leukemia, but this day realized another battle had been won with the city of Boston.

"They lined the streets, and the whole course really was never without cheering spectators, it was fantastic. And so accommodating and high-fiving and everything you read about. Everybody was completely lifting on another up and that's what life's all about,” she said.

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