ABILENE, Texas - Tiajuana Williams and Gina Mordica of Abilene both qualified for the Boston Marathon before last year's bombing, but neither of them ran in the race.
After the tragedy the two women made it a goal to get to Boston this year.
"I could get my sneakers and I could run anytime just me and the road," Williams said, noting she ran her first marathon in 2000.
"When I finished I said I'd never do it again," said Williams.
But she did do it again – five more times.
"It was just something I could do to stay competitive," Williams said.
Mordica has also raced 26.2 miles on several occasions.
"I started out with 5Ks and really liked those, but I really like the marathon challenge," Mordica said.
The two women were shocked last year after a bomb went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Three people were killed and more than 260 injured. Many of the wounded were spectators.
"It tore me up thinking about what if my family had been there on the sidelines doing that," Mordica said. "And those people that just wanted to be there for their runners that were affected by that. It just tore me up and it made me angry at the same time that somebody would want to try and ruin our sport like that."
That's why Mordica and Williams made the Boston Marathon a priority this year.
"I'm really excited about being able to run in Boston in 2014," Williams said.
"As tribute to the people who were hurt, the people who support us when we run our marathons, I think it's really important to be able to be there to support them," Mordica said.
The two women say they are looking forward to running alongside some of the victims.
"It's just an awesome honor," Mordica said. "It really is a big honor – to be able to share that with them and just to let them know that I really respect them and support them. And I'm glad they're back," Mordica said.
"Tragedies are going to happen, but it's just a symbol that even though they do occur we just have to keep moving. So I'm excited to be a part," Williams said.
"I think it's going to be a very emotional, wonderful experience, but very emotional," Mordica said.
Both women said they aren't concerned about security at the race.
This year more than 3,500 police officers will be patrolling during the race – double the amount that was there last year. There will also be more than 100 additional security cameras along the route.
No containers with more than one liter of liquid will be allowed. Bulky clothing and masks will also be prohibited.
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