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Redmond residents finish Monday's 118th Boston Marathon
Emotions ran high and deep at Monday's 118th Boston Marathon.
A year ago, two bombs exploded near the finish line, killing three spectators and injuring 264 others.
On Monday, nearly 36,000 runners returned to the streets of Boston and tackled the 26.2-mile course.
"It was an emotional day for a lot of people. I was watching the local news stories and they were saying, 'We took our marathon back' and people were really proud of how it went," said Redmond's Kristen Mossman, 50, who finished her fourth Boston Marathon in three hours, 22 minutes and 34 seconds.
"Overall, I had a great day — I'm happy. It's been a special time for me," she added over the phone from Boston on Tuesday morning. While speaking with the Reporter, Mossman walked around the streets and relived the "Boston Strong" atmosphere from the day before.
At the Reporter's post time, the Boston Athletic Association website notes that three Redmond runners finished the marathon.
Along with Mossman, there was Kirk Sall, 46, with a time of 3:48.24 and Brig Seidl, 51, with a time of 4:08.04. Redmond's Lauren Anderson, 32, Aaron Burby, 40, and Richard Mareno, 45, were also scheduled to run but their times weren't listed on the marathon website at post time. (Aside from Mossman, the rest of the runners were unavailable for comment.)
At last year's marathon, Mareno finished in 3:41.08; Sall finished in 3:16.00; and Seidl started the race but stopped after about an hour. According to her Athlinks.com profile, Seidl also ran in the Boston Marathon in 2012, finishing in 4:22.18.
Mossman noted that there was heightened security at this year's race and there were also about 9,000 more runners than last year.
The first wave of runners started at 10 a.m. and Mossman was in the second wave, which began at 10:25 a.m. She was about 14,000 people back in the throng and said it was tough at first to find a comfortable spot to run. There was some jostling among the runners, but everyone was in good spirits just to be participating in the oldest continuously running marathon.
Mossman — who has completed 18 marathons — previously ran the Boston event in 2005, 2008 and 2009.
Following last year's marathon tragedies, her emotions brought her back to Boston.
"I felt I needed to come back and I wanted to be a part of that," Mossman said. "Why should I not go back and let the bad guys win? I was just so in awe — I met people who were stopped at mile 25 last year and the reason they came back was to cross the finish line. We were so embraced by the volunteers at the end. It was so wonderful and everyone felt like they were all champions."
Another driving force for Mossman to finish the marathon was her daughter, Mekenna, a Redmond High School runner who was injured in the fall of 2012. She suffered a deep puncture to her right leg when she fell during a run and it turned into a severe case of necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating bacteria), which could have taken her leg — or her life — if it hadn’t been treated properly, a Reporter story noted. Mekenna endured 18 surgeries and is running again.
"I'm still emotional about what she went through. It's been a hard journey for me," said Kristen, noting about Mekenna's positive outlook on life: "She never quit. She never gave up. She never will."
Mossman also gained inspiration before the race when she met Scott Rigsby, who lost both his legs in a car accident at age 18. The author of "Unthinkable" ran in the event on Monday in his prosthetic legs.
While it was a victorious day, Mossman couldn't help but feel fear when reaching the finish line because that's where the bombs exploded last year. She pushed those thoughts out of her mind, continued on and raised her arms above her head at the end.
Through all her running, Kristen has inspired Mekenna, a junior who's competing in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter events for the Mustang track and field team this spring.
"I'm so proud of her," said Mekenna, adding that her mom has recovered from a host of injuries to be the successful runner she is today.
Mekenna speaks in an excited voice when discussing Kristen heading out for a 22-mile morning run recently that blew away the 3-mile run the high schooler was faced with that day.
It was a 26.2-miler on Monday. As she entered one of her classes that morning, Mekenna's teacher was wearing Boston Marathon gear and the Mustang proclaimed: "My mom's running the Boston Marathon as we speak!"
Next up for Kristen is the picturesque Big Sur International Marathon along the California Pacific coast on Sunday.
She's got blisters on her feet from Boston, but that's OK, she said with a laugh.
"My feet will probably say, 'Hold on, I'm not ready for this,' but my head will say, 'OK, here we go, we're not stopping,'" Mossman said, adding that at the finish line, "I'll probably fall to my knees and cry."