IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Spokane Marathoners Running To Make Bosto - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Spokane Marathoners Running To Make Boston Even Stronger

Posted: Updated:

KHQ.COM - "Runners are a breed of their own, they're fighters," explained Heather LeFriec, who runs with the Spokane Swifts, an all-female competitive running club. "If you tell them they can't do something, they'll go do it. They like the challenge, that's mostly why they run."

That is why she, and many other runners from Spokane, are not surprised by the fact that this year's Boston Marathon is bigger than ever, with over 36,000 runners participating. The Spokane Swifts alone are sending 18 runners.

"We're really excited to be there together," said LeFriec. "We share a bond because doing something like Boston together makes those bonds stronger."

For marathon runners, Boston is one of the most, if not 'the' most, prestigious races.

Javier Pita, who has completed 24 marathons, says it's his favorite race.

"There's nothing regular about Boston, it's special," Pita explained.

Last year, he made it to Mile 25 when he was pulled from the race. He's going back this year to finish what he started.

"Last year's Boston Marathon was quite an impact moment I'll never forget," he explained. "I've been waiting quite a while for this year. I'm really looking forward to it."

Pita was also not surprised that so many runners were headed back to Boston just like him  to finish what they started last year to stay "Boston Strong."

"I'd say we're a pretty tough group; we're not easily deterred."

For Nicole Lund, this is her 14th marathon, but first Boston Marathon.

"It was always out there to qualify and run this race, so it was always there in the back of my mind."

And this race is very personal for Lund.

For one, she is going to Boston because her friends fundraised money to send her across the country to compete. Additionally, she is running to honor her father and brother-in-law, who both are currently battling cancer.

And, like many runners, she feels empowered by the "Boston Strong" mindset that came out of last year's event.

"My pace would have put me close to the finish at that time last year," she explained. "It hit home because it's people like me, not elite runners, who run that pace but to see how everyone came together and ran together, it's made me grateful to be a part of that community."

This year's Boston Marathon is only Jennifer Van Cott's 2nd marathon  her first race was her qualifier run in Park City, Utah.

Van Cott is a seasoned athlete, but even though she is relatively new to the marathon scene, she is already "Boston Strong."

"I don't have personal ties to anyone who experienced the bombing last year," she explained. "But the running community's really small, everyone's really supportive of each other.  We band together, in Spokane everyone is running for other people other than ourselves that's the most emotional part."

She said on Monday she will run one mile for every person in her family, and will also be thinking about those hurt in last year's bombing.

"Running is a commitment in and of itself, so to do it for more than yourself is really important," said Van Cott. "It's a way to commit to anything.  There's got to be a bigger meaning to it."

So, as veteran racers and first-time marathoners from the Inland Northwest head across the country, they bring the strength, determination, and drive they built up in Spokane, both physically and emotionally, to make the city of Boston even stronger.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:07:59 GMT
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
  • FIRST ON KHQ.COM: hikers find body in Spokane Valley; homicide investigation begins

    FIRST ON KHQ.COM: hikers find body in Spokane Valley; homicide investigation begins

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:33 AM EDT2014-08-01 09:33:29 GMT
    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- On Thursday night major crimes detectives with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office began investigating the discovery of a body in Spokane Valley.The body was found earlier in the evening by a couple walking in a wooded area near Parkside At Mirabeau Apartments.>>
    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- On Thursday night major crimes detectives with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office began investigating the discovery of a body in Spokane Valley.The body was found earlier in the evening by a couple walking in a wooded area near Parkside At Mirabeau Apartments.>>
  • Candlelight vigil held for both husband and wife in murder-suicide

    Candlelight vigil held for both husband and wife in murder-suicide

    Friday, August 1 2014 2:22 AM EDT2014-08-01 06:22:44 GMT
    Chris and Sheena HendersonChris and Sheena Henderson
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Thursday night there was a candlelight vigil held for Chris and Sheena Henderson in Franklin Park. The vigil was overseen by a Spokane Police Chaplain. He said that today's vigil was about hope, help, healing, and ultimately, forgiveness.On July 8th, Spokane police say 37-year-old Chris Henderson went to the Deaconess Medical Center complex where his wife, 30-year-old Sheena Henderson, worked and shot her multiple times. He then fatally shot himself. No one else was hurt.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Thursday night there was a candlelight vigil held for Chris and Sheena Henderson in Franklin Park. The vigil was overseen by a Spokane Police Chaplain. He said that today's vigil was about hope, help, healing, and ultimately, forgiveness. >>INSIDE: Raw interview with Sheena Henderson's father
    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • FIRST ON KHQ.COM: hikers find body in Spokane Valley; homicide investigation begins

    FIRST ON KHQ.COM: hikers find body in Spokane Valley; homicide investigation begins

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:33 AM EDT2014-08-01 09:33:29 GMT
    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- On Thursday night major crimes detectives with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office began investigating the discovery of a body in Spokane Valley.The body was found earlier in the evening by a couple walking in a wooded area near Parkside At Mirabeau Apartments.>>
    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- On Thursday night major crimes detectives with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office began investigating the discovery of a body in Spokane Valley.The body was found earlier in the evening by a couple walking in a wooded area near Parkside At Mirabeau Apartments.>>
  • Two vehicle crash hospitalizes five, including one child

    Two vehicle crash hospitalizes five, including one child

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:33 AM EDT2014-08-01 09:33:07 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Right now Spokane Police and Washington State Patrol troopers are responding to a two-vehicle crash at East Trent and North Napa. Five people were injured in the crash, including one child. We do not know the extent of the injuries, but all five were taken to the hospital. Crews tell us that it appears a black SUV ran a red light and t-boned a black car. .>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Right now Spokane Police and Washington State Patrol troopers are responding to a two-vehicle crash at East Trent and North Napa. Five people were injured in the crash, including one child. We do not know the extent of the injuries, but all five were taken to the hospital. Crews tell us that it appears a black SUV ran a red light and t-boned a black car. .>>
  • Candlelight vigil held for both husband and wife in murder-suicide

    Candlelight vigil held for both husband and wife in murder-suicide

    Friday, August 1 2014 2:22 AM EDT2014-08-01 06:22:44 GMT
    Chris and Sheena HendersonChris and Sheena Henderson
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Thursday night there was a candlelight vigil held for Chris and Sheena Henderson in Franklin Park. The vigil was overseen by a Spokane Police Chaplain. He said that today's vigil was about hope, help, healing, and ultimately, forgiveness.On July 8th, Spokane police say 37-year-old Chris Henderson went to the Deaconess Medical Center complex where his wife, 30-year-old Sheena Henderson, worked and shot her multiple times. He then fatally shot himself. No one else was hurt.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Thursday night there was a candlelight vigil held for Chris and Sheena Henderson in Franklin Park. The vigil was overseen by a Spokane Police Chaplain. He said that today's vigil was about hope, help, healing, and ultimately, forgiveness. >>INSIDE: Raw interview with Sheena Henderson's father
    >>