Few NM Boston Marathoners returning after attack

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Eighty runners from New Mexico ran the Boston Marathon last year. Most will not be back this year.

Those who are returning, and others going for the first time, have a wide range of emotions.

“We’ll probably have this moment of silence and then you’ll start to remember–this time last year, someone was trying to kill us,” said returning runner Jim Weddell.

Weddell is one of only 15 New Mexico men returning this year after last year’s tragedy.

For Lynn Defrees and her twin sister, it will be their second Boston Marathon, but their first time crossing the finishing line. They had made it past mile 25 when they were stopped.

She wonders what it will be like when they cross that stopping point.

“I’ve thought about that, if I’m going to cry or something like that – I’m going to cry right now thinking about it,” Defrees said.

Albuquerque running coach Gary Schancer, also returning this year, says he’s not sure why there’s a low turnout of returning runners – just 35 of last year’s runners will be back.

“Why New Mexicans aren’t all going back, I’m not sure, but I’m sure they all had their own reason why they couldn’t make it,” he said.

Some of the New Mexico runners who are not returning told KRQE News 13 it’s just too emotional for them, but others say it’s too expensive or they’re hurt.

Most of this year’s group of New Mexico runners are first timers, runners like 65-year-old Kathy Kirsling.

A month before last year’s race, she set her sights on this year’s marathon. The tragedy only confirming her commitment to hitting the pavement.

“My brain is already there. That’s all I’m thinking about,” Kirsling said.

Fifty-one of the 86 New Mexico Boston runners this year weren’t there last year.

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