Within days of the Boston marathon bombings, organizers of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon extended an invitation to the thousands of runners who did not get to complete their race.
It was an invitation that caught the eye of Diane Sherer from Garland, Texas.
"When I saw this Oklahoma marathon offer for us to finish, it just all fit together," she said. "The people of Oklahoma, considering the bombings there, it just seemed very appropriate."
During a Skype interview, Sherer told 2News anchor Karen Larsen, running is her passion. A passion rocked by the terror attacks in Boston. She, along with thousands of other runners, could not complete her lifelong dream of running the prestigious Boston marathon. The finish line was less than a mile away. Ironically, she had almost decided not to run in Boston.
"Well, I had trained for Boston, qualified, but I was injured," Sherer said. "My mom talked me into doing it. My mom is ill with cancer and she said, 'Do it.'"
Sunday morning, Sherer will line up at the starting line in Oklahoma City with longtime running partner Christy Korns with more than a little amount of trepidation.
"Scared I can't finish, scared about the bombings. Just running the marathon again is scary," she said.
It is scary because Sherer was only a mile from the site of the bomb blasts.
"Well, we were running along when all of a sudden, we were stopped by a wall of people," Sherer said. "There was explosion at the finish line."
In the confusion and chaos, she worried her husband may have been hurt for he was waiting for her at the finish line. After two hours spent frantically trying to get through jammed cell phone lines, they found each other. Both were unharmed.
Sherer and her husband returned to their home in Garland with her Boston marathon medal in hand. However, she could not stop thinking about the tragedy and not finishing the race.
So, when Oklahoma City invited all Boston runners,Sherer knew she could mentally close the chapter on the Boston bombing by coming to the Sooner state where terror had struck, too.
"Being in Texas, a neighbor to Oklahoma, I remember when all that happened," Diane said. "It makes me sad that life is so tragic sometimes and sad but there are so many good people, runners I meet, bystanders. A marathon is a great event to honor those people who died and were injured."
With this in mind, Diane is determined to run the marathon from start to finish. She hopes by sharing the race, she can help show the people of Oklahoma that she and the other Boston runners understand what this state has been through. In her words, "We're all in this together."
For coverage of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon go to www.kjrh.com/okcmarathon. We will live stream our broadcast from the race Sunday beginning at 7 a.m.
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