NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. — A Hancock County woman says next week’s Boston Marathon will be her final marathon. “Last year would have been my last one, but I had to go back for this one,” said Teresa DeLong, 66, of New Cumberland.
DeLong was less than half a mile from the finish line, running in her first Boston Marathon last April, when two bombs exploded near the finish line for the iconic race. Three people were killed and more than 260 others were injured in the blasts.
The first anniversary of the bombings was marked Tuesday with a wreath-laying ceremony at the site of the explosions. Vice President Joe Biden was also scheduled to be part of a separate ceremony that included some of the survivors.
On Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” DeLong said she has unfinished business in Boston.
“I just feel that there are going to be people there who are going to be running that had limbs blown off last year and, if they’re not afraid, I’m not afraid and I think the biggest thing is, we cannot let fear rule our lives,” she said.
“If we let fear rule our lives, then the evil people win.”
Several of DeLong’s family members, who were near the finish line at the time of last year’s explosions, escaped injury. The entire family will be making the trip to Boston for Monday’s race.
“After that happened last year, my children were so encouraging and they said they’d be right there with me and my husband’s going to right there with me and my sister and my son, Joe, who was not able to join us last year, he will be there too,” she said.
Even though she received a finishing time for last year’s Boston Marathon, DeLong said she never crossed the finish line.
“I will make it across that finish line (on Monday). That’s my goal,” DeLong said. “And just to be part of an experience that started out so fantastic last year and ended up being such a horrible, horrible tragedy.”
Two brothers planned and orchestrated the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died after a shootout with police several days after the bombings. Dzohkar Tsarnaev, 20, is awaiting trial on 30 federal charges. If convicted, he could be sentenced to death.