WNY Native in Boston Marathon Returns Home to Run Buffalo Marathon

11:11 PM, May 24, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY - The terror that took place in Boston a month ago, prevented a runner from finishing that city's legendary marathon.

But resolve is a strong thing.

And it's bringing a Buffalo native back home this weekend for the big race here.

"It's taken on a lot of significance for me, the idea to come here to Buffalo came to me pretty quickly after what happened," said Dan Finkel, a native of Grand Island who attended SUNY Fredonia to get an undergraduate degree in mathematics.

Finkel, now lives in the Boston, Mass. metro area with his wife and three kids. He was running in this year's Boston Marathon and wasn't able to finish because of the attack that took place at the finish line.

Now he's ready to run again. This time - all 26.2 miles in Sunday's Buffalo Marathon.

"[There's] wonderful support from the community. It's my hometown, so it's very comfortable and a lot of fun to run here as well," said Finkel, while wearing his blue Boston Marathon 2013 jacket.

Finkel says he was 200 yards from the second explosion in Boston. He remembers police telling him to get away from the area. But, his family was waiting for him near the finish line and luckily they were out of harm's way. Finkel and his wife and kids were able to reach each other by cell phone and meet up nearby.

Finkel says he's not worried at all about running this year's race.

Between 6,000 and 7,000 runners from the region and around the world will be here. Security will be boosted for Sunday's race with federal agencies monitoring activity. There will be a Boston Marathon tribute that will include a moment of silence before the race. And all runners will be provided "Boston Strong" tattoos that they can wear with pride.

Finekl says that finishing the race has a special meaning to him and that he's "fixated on that finish line and on that goal of crossing the finish line."

He says that he will also be thinking of the victims and those who were injured in the Boston Marathon and that they have "become part of all of us."

About 6,000 runners weren't able to finish Boston. But, those runners are being given the chance to run it again next year for free and without any registration requirements. Finkel says he'll be there again next year.

Other runners who we've talked to say they'll pass on running in Boston next year. But others say they will make the trip again. The decision to run or not has become a very personal decision for each runner to make.

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