Springfield runners complete Boston Marathon

Libby Wilson and Therese Larson ran along with their friend and Springfield native Mallory Kitts. The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and is considered an elite race that requires participants to meet a qualifying time at other marathons first.

The women said the atmosphere at the race was incredible with every inch of the 26.2-mile course lined with cheering onlookers.

“I knew the ending would be booming with people, but the whole way was,” said Larson, a tutor in the Springfield City School District.

She finished with a time of 3:35, an hour behind the top American female finisher, Neely Spence Gracey.

Wilson, a Springfield physician, said she finished slower than her qualifying time, 4:26 compared to 3:32, but was just proud to be there and take in the experience.

“It took me six marathons to get here,” she said.

Heavy security was present at the race three years after double bombings near the finish line left three dead and at least 264 injured.

Wilson thought the race was well organized for such a big event — 30,000 runners registered and an estimated 1 million spectators lined the streets.

“I felt really, really safe,” Wilson said.

Larson noticed several runners who had prosthetic limbs.

“That was really cool,” she said.

CNN reported that 21 survivors of the bombings competed this year and mobility impaired runners got to lead off the race.

“I kind of consider this just a celebration,” Wilson said of her 15th marathon, but first time in Boston.

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