More than 40 runners from the central San Joaquin Valley will make the trip to Boston this week for that city's 118th marathon on Monday.
Of course, that barely does the occasion justice.
A year after two bombs killed four and injured more than 250 near the finish, this year's race marks a taking back of sorts of a national tradition.
"This year will be the pinnacle of what the Boston Marathon represents because this is the year to show what this country is made of," former Fresno City Council Member Brad Castillo said.
Castillo waited 17 years to qualify for the marathon, only to be one of the 5,633 runners stopped along the second half of the 26.2-mile course after the terrorist attack.
"It was something I worked and trained for 17 years so I have unfinished business," Castillo said. "I'm very excited to finally cross the finish line that I've been dreaming about for the past 18 years. "
For Fresno attorney Amanda Whitten, this will be her fourth trip.
"I'm definitely just as excited as I have been every year," the 31-year-old said.
"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't anxious in returning, but I'm hopeful. I trust the city of Boston and I trust they're going to take care of us," she said. "I'm looking forward to getting the race done and restoring the Boston Marathon to what it once was and not about what happened last year."
OFF THEY GO ...
Valley runners competing in the Boston Marathon
Ahwahnee (1): David Miller
Bakersfield (12): Michael Brazzell, Allan Fetters, Emilee Gonsalves, Denise Jorgensen, Brian Lee, Ryan Lucker, Jose Montelongo Jr., David Plyler, Pamela Plyler, Noel Velasco, Richard Walton, Jonathan Wykoff
Clovis (4): Shelley Bryant, Mark Dorman, Audrey Monke, Steven Monke
Fresno (12): Susan Bonds, Brad Castillo, Tracy Coke, J.K. Lundberg, Rudy Montoya, Shelly Montoya, Alan Perry, Martin Rindahl, Suzanne Sobenes, John Volkman, Jim Wagoner (pushing his son Colby), Amanda Whitten
Hanford (3): Yvonne Jessup, Daniel T. Quinn, Robert Ramirez Jr.
Madera (1): Benjamin Madrigal
McFarland (1): Luz Bravo-Rios
Merced (1): James Bond Sr.
Sanger (1): Phillip Gonzalez
Visalia (12): Andres Aguinaga, Michael W. Baumann, Rebecca Bodensteiner, Albert Chaves, Jacqueline Gaebe, Sally Lovejoy, Dan Maxey, Al Morales, Charaighn Sesock, Brittani Snyder, Brian Stagg, Matt Stovall
Know of someone running in the marathon? Send contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org
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