UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) -- A local man fulfilled his dream of running the Boston Marathon last year. He thought he would cross that finish line just one time, but now he says, he has to go back.
Rob Bauer, an Oneida County Assistant District Attorney, says the Boston Marathon is the pinnacle of marathons- the one you strive to get to. He was one of the lucky ones that crossed the finish line last year. But just moments later, the bombs exploded, killing three, and injuring hundreds.
"You could see the smoke in the air, you could smell it and it was a stream of panic-stricken people coming your way trying to get away from there," said Bauer.
His first year was supposed to be his last, but now he feels compelled to run again to show solidarity.
"It's the collective voice of everyone saying we're not going to be pushed back. We're not going to be afraid," he said.
The marathon opened registration to 9,000 additional runners this year and scores of spectators are expected to turn out to show they're "Boston Strong."
"I'm expecting the crowds to be as big and fantastic as they ever were. That was the great part about it last year was the crowd support is phenomenal. It's like a Boilermaker for 26 straight miles. The crowd is fantastic and I'm expecting the closing miles, that last mile to be emotional for everyone involved. The runners, the spectators, everybody," he said.
But training this year has been more difficult. As he runs, there's plenty of time to think and there are memories he's not eager to revisit.
"The toughest personal part for me was that hour not knowing where my loved ones were. So that was rough. I purposely try not to think about that," he said.
The terror, the scars, the panic of that day instilled the very opposite in the city. To Boston, Bauer says:
"Thank you and I'll be back. We'll all be back."
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