MISSOULA, Mont. - It's been nearly a year since the Boston Marathon bombings. On Friday, NBC Montana talked to Missoula-area runners who plan to run the course in just 9 days, and many tell NBC Montana that last year's tragedy is actually one of the things that motivates them to make the trek to Boston.
Many of the roughly 20 Missoula-area runners packed into the basement of the Runner's Edge store for a logistical meeting with their teacher, Tim Mosbacher.
Mosbacher won't make the trip to Boston, but he'll be there in spirit. That's because he instilled in the other runners strategy and motivation. He's been teaching the Boston Marathon prep class in Missoula.
"If you ran 20 marathons, people will say 'Have you ran the Boston Marathon?' So it's the marathon. What's attractive about it is the crowds. I mean, there are crowds unlike it in any other race that you run in," said Mosbacher.
One of his students, Trisha Drobeck, is so fast that she qualified for an elite early start in the race.
"You know, we're a quiet group. We usually get our workouts and our things done before people even wake up on Sunday mornings. So, we're just taking center stage next weekend," said Drobeck.
She ran the Boston Marathon 10 years ago, and says last year's tragedy provided an extra push for her to make the trip again.
"After last year's race, I just wanted to run it that much more because I knew it was going to be that much more important," said Drobeck.
Sara Stahl felt similarly. She was there last year, and was at a gathering place at the event when another runner came by and told her the bombs went off.
"When I finished last year, and after the incident, my reaction was fortified, like, 'I want to go back.' I think a lot of people felt that way. I was talking with other runners in the airport and there was kind of this feeling of 'We're not going to let this stop us,'" said Stahl.