Remembering Boston in the QCA - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Remembering Boston in the QCA

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1 year ago today (Tuesday, all eyes were on Boston, when two bombs went off near the marathon finish line. 

At least 11 people from the Quad Cities were there running the race. 

Now, some say the term, "Boston Strong" isn't just a term for people to rally around in Boston, but even right here in our community.

Danielle Berndt of Bettendorf was one of those runners, and she didn't even mean to qualify for Boston last year, while running in Indianapolis. 

"There was actually a guy during the race who I was running next to who said, "You're under Boston qualifying pace." And I'm like, really?"

After qualifying with a friend, Danielle decided to go run in Boston, for a chance of a life time. 

She didn't finish with the time she wanted, but looking back, she says that doesn't matter. 

All that does matter is that she finished in 3:35:21... 30 minutes before the bombs rocked the finish line, giving her and her friends time to get a few blocks away. 

"Everyone got quiet," she explains. "Then we saw a cop get radioed and we couldn't hear what he was saying but he looked upset and went running towards the finish area... My boyfriend was standing right where the bombs went off until I finished."

Danielle says while the experience was frightening, it hasn't scared her off from going back to Boston someday.

But, she adds the whole experience has given her a new perspective on running, and life. 

"Through the whole race, you're trying to get to the finish line and it's the most important thing in the world," says Berndt. "You get there and you cross it and it's all this relief... Then you turn on the TV and it's surrounded by carnage and awful things. Now, this year I turn on the news and they have repainted it and it's fresh and new." 

Though Berndt won't get a chance to cross that new finish line this year, another man from the QCA, will. 

Stephen Rhodes didn't start running until four years ago, just trying to lose some weight. 

He quickly learned he had a knack for it, even qualifying for last year's Boston Marathon. 

A scheduling conflict kept him out of it, but not this year. 

"For a runner, it's the Superbowl. It's the Daytona 500. It doesn't get any better than this," Rhodes says. "From an athletes perspective, to get to go out and run with the professionals... I get to run in their footsteps. And you can't do that in the Superbowl. They don't let you do that." 

And, Rhodes says, this year, he knows he is going to be part of history.

"It's gonna be emotional for everybody there: The people involved last year, the people running for the first time this year, for all the runners, spectators. It's the chance of a lifetime.

__________________________

This year's Boston Marathon is expected to be the second largest in history. 

It's scheduled for April 21st. 

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