A number of East Tennesseans are making history Monday in the Boston Marathon, as part of a near-record 36,000 runners taking part in the race. A year ago, a bombing near the finish line killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.
Security is noticeably increased for the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, but that's not interfering in the celebratory nature for the runners and spectators.
"It was very reassuring," said Knoxville runner Lorrie Johnson. "It really did not interfere with the runners at all."
Johnson made her Boston debut this year. She qualified for the race just a few weeks before the bombings in Boston last year.
"I think it was really important that the running community show support for the race and for the efforts the Boston community puts forth," she said.
Blount County sisters Stephanie Pesterfield and Jamie Bradshaw also celebrated their first Boston Marathon Monday.
"We already made our minds up before the bombing happened last year but," Pesterfield said. "We were even more motivated to make sure we came up the year after."
She said the atmosphere was hard to describe.
"It was very emotional. I'm just so glad that I had this opportunity."
Ethan Coffey is no stranger to the Boston race. The elite Knoxville runner logged double the miles this year, in honor of a family injured in the bombings last year.
Three hours before the race officially started, Coffey ran the full course backwards -- from the finish line to the start line. When the gun sounded, he joined the rest of the runners for the actual race back to Boston again. In total, Coffey logged 52.4 miles in just under six hours.
"The crowd at Boston is always amazing," he said. "But I think this year, it was such a happy experience for everybody. It was just nice to get the monkey off the back after last year. And the crowd, the crowd was just amazing!"
Here's a list of East Tennesseans registered for the race. Good luck to them!
- Bradley A Adams, 36, Knoxville
- Bond Almand, 41, Maryville
- Anne Anderson, 32, Knoxville
- Robin L Auerbach, 46, Knoxville
- Edward P. Bolin, 62, Knoxville
- Lucas Bollschweiler, 38, Maryville
- Stuart J. Bresee, 58, Knoxville
- Andy P. Broome, 33, Knoxville
- Kenneth Childs, 65, Knoxville
- Ethan Coffey, 31, Knoxville
- Elizabeth A. Collins, 36, Crossville
- Melanie L. Cox, 44, Knoxville
- Mark T Cristy, 67, Oak Ridge
- Douglas R Dibb, 56, Morristown
- Stewart Ellington, 39, Knoxville
- Laura D. Gearhiser, 51, Knoxville
- Jamie O Gibson, 25, Maryville
- Rodney S Grugin, 52, Lenoir City
- Caroline M Grunenwald, 28, Knoxville
- Robert A Haines, 32, Knoxville
- Ralph C. Harvey, 61, Knoxville
- Johnny K. Hill, 55, Knoxville
- John Hood, 43, Sevierville
- John Howick, 65, Knoxville
- Shawn P Jakubowski, 31, Athens
- Lorrie A. Johnson, 47, Knoxville
- Kelly R Kenner, 24, Maryville
- Michael Larrabee, 46, Knoxville
- John P Little, 47, Knoxville
- Shanda L. Mattis, 36, Morristown
- Robin L Miller,51, Maryville
- Becky M Morgan, 44, Maryville
- Malcolm Oliver, 65, Morristown
- Richard W Pectol, Jr., 48, Greeneville
- Stephanie G Pesterfield, 28, Maryville
- Rebecca Polite, 54, Vonore
- David Proffitt, 21, Knoxville
- Charles A Raper, 77, Maryville
- Lauren C Roth, 31, Knoxville
- Lee Sherbakoff, 55, Knoxville
- Jennifer A Singh, 54, Knoxville
- Tara R Stockton, 42, Kingston
- Meghan M. Sutherland, 43, Andersonville
- P Mark Taylor, 46, Knoxville
- Mike K. Ward, 37, Knoxville
- Wendi M Wheeler, 41, Knoxville