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Boston Strong at 2013 Boilermaker

By ANNA MEILER

BOILERMAKER 2013 (WKTV) - There are many people at the 2013 Boilermaker this year who will be showing their support for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Security is heightened at this year's Boilermaker, but that's not the only response we're seeing as a result of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Support for the sport and the victims is popping up all over the 2013 Expo.

Kathrine Switzer is the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon and was at the finish line on April 15 when the bombings occurred.

"I left 20 minutes before the bombs went off," Switzer said. "Certainly it was one of the most traumatic incidents that have happened to any of us."

Switzer says that the weekend is partly a show of support for the bombing victims.

"What is really amazing is that runners everywhere are so resilient and so determined and really have become a global example. People around the world are looking at all of us and saying 'aren't they fantastic' and 'we will run again.' Boston Strong. We are strong."

Linda Casler is running the Boilermaker, but is also bringing Boston Strong to the Utica area. Family and friends usually cheer her on, but she says she is relieved they won't be on the sidelines this year.

"When we did (the Boilermaker) last time, all the kids came and this year I knew they couldn't come, but I was happy almost that they weren't coming because I felt a little uneasy," Casler said. "So my daughter, just listening to me on the phone, sent my husband and I a Boston Strong shirt, (saying) 'maybe this will make you feel better because this is how we're feeling.'"

While the bombings have some on edge this weekend, Switzer says there is no reason to worry.

"As far as the security with the Utica Boilermaker goes, I have no concerns whatsoever," Switzer said.

Officials will be working at full force this weekend, but are asking for extra eyes and ears. If you see something suspicious, call 9-1-1 and let them know.

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