Back from Boston: Local runners reflect on marathon

Picture Courtesy: Bill Rowell

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Now that they've caught their breath and the cramps have subsided, local runners who raced in Monday's Boston Marathon are coming back home.Arriving back in the Lowcountry Tuesday, marathoner Bill Rowell says this year's Boston experience is finally sinking in."Even though we will always have this negative thought of last year, Boston really put it together this year to try and turn it back to as normal as possible and be respectful to what happened at the same time," Bill Rowell said. Rowell had finished the race and was in his hotel room when the bombs went off in Boston at last year's Marathon. Rowell says he was determined to return to the race this year."There will never be another 118th Boston Marathon, there will be marathons well into the future, but there will not be another one like this year and of course never again like last year we all hope." As expected, Rowell said he noticed more security at this year's event. He said barricades lined the whole 26.2 mile course with armed National Guards and a noticeable increase in bomb sniffing dogs.It was obvious, Rowell added, that the people of Boston were not going to let what happened at last year's race destroy this year's event."You saw and heard 'Boston Strong' not once -- it was a thousand times," he said. "People were there with little kids, handing out oranges and water bottles outside their own homes -- Popsicle and frozen pops and sponges and paper towels -- the crowd was just incredible the whole way." Mount Pleasant resident Donna Friedman also returned to Charleston on Tuesday night from the Boston Marathon.Friedman, an avid runner, has run 21 marathons all over the country and says she's never been cheered on, congratulated, and thanked as much as in Monday's 26.2 mile race. "I have not run Boston since 2006. This year my sister and my husband had been treated for cancer in Boston, so it felt right," Donna Friedman said. "After the bombings and the heartfelt love that was shown across the world, I knew not only was I running for my sister and Boston Medical Center... but for the people and the pride of Boston."Friedman adds that you could feel how appreciative the people of Boston were for each and every runner at this year's race."Boston was alive and strong and grateful for runners --so special and heartfelt. Boston Strong!"