PORTLAND, Ore. – About 7,500 runners are about to hit the streets for the Portland Marathon this Sunday. They'll be running under new security in the wake of this year's Boston Marathon bombing.
Doris and Gary Clancy are two of the runners planning to run Portland's marathon. They have vivid memories of what happened in Boston.
Despite having seen the horror of what happened, they're in Portland to run again. They feel safe, and they know this is the one small way for them to make sure terrorism never really wins.
The Clancys are from Santa Barbara. It’s their first marathon since running the Boston Marathon. Doris was just a block from the finish when the bombs went off.
"And it was just a beautiful day, and it never even entered my mind that something would happen," she said Friday.
"We heard two booms, and then the police came out and the first thought came out – why would you pick an event like this to do such a thing?" said Gary.
The Portland Marathon learned from Boston. It already had all the post-9/11 security measures of bomb-sniffing dogs and package inspections.
One of the biggest changes this year will be communication centers.
In the past the Portland Marathon had only one. This year there will be three. Boston showed how vulnerable and overwhelmed a single communication center could be in an emergency.
"And I'm gonna feel very safe out there," Doris said. "I think Gary will feel the same way."
"Never even crossed my mind," Gary said. "We're up here with a group from Santa Barbara – never even crossed our mind. Security, it's just not an issue to us."
Neither of them finished the marathon in Boston that day.
Doris wore her Boston Marathon warm-up jacket Friday as an outward sign of her dedication to run this time for Boston.
"I'm gonna be at that finish line no matter what," she said. "I'm gonna be there, and I'm going to show them that it doesn't matter what they tried to do. The spirit of American athletes are not gonna be defeated."
It's why the theme for this year's Portland Marathon is "Run for Boston."