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Rochester marathoner returns to Boston
Rochester, N.Y. - Distance runner Mark Clementi was about to finish his first Boston Marathon last year when suddenly he heard a loud bang.
"It went from being one of the best days of my life to becoming one of the worst days of my life," said Clementi, recalling the chaos around him that followed. "The first week when I returned [to Rochester] it was all so surreal."
It was the second bomb Clementi heard set off on that day, and in the end the attacks killed three people and injured more than 250.
Almost one year after the Boston Marathon bombings, Clementi's memory of the chaos and destruction still crosses his mind when he runs.
"I use a lot of that anxiety or frustration to fuel my runs," he said. "That's helped me get through this training period."
Clementi is returning to Boston on April 21st to finish what he started last year.
Boston Marathon organizers allowed many of the runners who couldn't finish the race last year, the chance to try it again this year.
"It sounds cliche, but I'm running this year for those who can't run," Clementi said, referring to those who lost limbs in last year's attack. "I want to pay my respects."
The Boston Athletic Association has planned for increased security and new safety regulations for the 2014 race.
For the most part, runners will no longer be able to carry backpacks or bags during the race, and the same goes for spectators at the start and finish. There will also be an increased police presence throughout the city, including bomb-sniffing K9s.
Clementi said he's happy about the increased security, but regrets that it's necessary.
"It's just a shame that a couple of guys had to go out and ruin such a great time for everyone," he said, referring to the Boston bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and his deceased brother. "I don't blame Boston for that, you can't," he added.
Tsarnaev remains in Federal prison and is scheduled to be tried in November.
If convicted he could face the death penalty.