BOSTON — Among the 59 West Virginians who ran Monday’s Boston Marathon was Hancock County resident Teresa DeLong, finishing a race she began last year.
The 66-year-old DeLong of New Cumberland had her 2013 run cut short by the tragic bombings. She was less than a mile away from the finish when she was stopped. There was no stopping her Monday.
“I got a feeling that I had not had since I had my three babies, and that was a long time ago,” DeLong said.
Her husband and children watched.
“She finished. She finished strong. She finished ahead of a whole lot of people that are younger than she is,” said her son Bob DeLong, northern panhandle native.
The crowd at this year’s race was one of the largest in the long history of the Boston Marathon, heralded as a show of unity that terrorism was not going to get the best of a historic event.
Teresa DeLong said she enjoyed running in the Chestnut Hill community of Boston.
“When you go through the section where Boston College is—all of those young people, it’s just so loud and they are so supportive and so positive,” she said.
Bob DeLong watched as one runner, injured in last year’s race, crossed the finish line.
“To see a guy like that be able to go 26.2 miles was very, very emotional,” he said. “The crowd was extremely strong.”
His mother was also encouraged by those who lost so much last year.
“They just kept saying, ‘This is the year. This is the most important year.’ When I was running I saw people with the prosthetic legs and I would get so emotional,” she said.
Bob DeLong also took time to reflect on what ‘might have been’ last year. He reserved the same outside table at the same restaurant that he did in 2013. The location is very close to where the second bombing took place.
“To actually see how close our family was and that we were all unharmed was absolutely amazing,” he said. “To see the crowd of people that were here before the finishers actually crossed the finish line—it was breathtaking.”
Seventeen of the 59 West Virginians who ran Monday were older than 50.