Louisville runners prepare for Boston Marathon - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Louisville runners prepare for Boston Marathon

Posted: Updated:
Louisville runners who are preparing to head to Boston gathered at Fleet Feet Monday. Louisville runners who are preparing to head to Boston gathered at Fleet Feet Monday.
Kelly Flowers Kelly Flowers
Wesley Korir Wesley Korir

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – April 15 will mark one year since two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killing three people and injuring hundreds.

Tens of thousands of runners are preparing to run the race again, including more than 70 local runners who qualified for the Boston Marathon this year. They were celebrated at Fleet Feet Monday night as dozens gathered to encourage all the participants and reflect on the past.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Boston Marathon bombing survivor runs in memory of 8-year-old victim]

Last year's race left horrifying images that will forever remain on Kelly Flowers' mind.

"It was really sort of numbing to wander the streets once they let us continue on because you didn't know where your family or anyone was," he said.

Flowers was one of thousands of runners whose race was cut short after a bomb exploded near the Boston Marathon finish line. 8 year old Martin Richard was one of three people killed.

"I have three boys and his death really hit me hard," said Flowers.

Flowers was selected by the family to be part of the Martin Richard Charitable Foundation. He has raised more than $20,000 locally.

At Fleet Feet Flowers joined several Louisville runners preparing to head to Boston once again.

"I think the running community took that as kind of an attack on them and people bounced that and you would think after the scary things last year that would kind of hurt numbers, but instead there are thousands of more people that qualified and are actually running this year compared to any other time," said Andy Fenton, Fleet Feet Sports Louisville Operator.

Wesley Korir, the Boston Marathon winner in 2012 and former University of Louisville track star, spoke and encouraged runners.

"The spirit of running is waking up and standing up again," said Korir.

He, too was in Boston last year.

"Whenever I'm asked what do you think about those people that bombed Boston, I always say they are messing with the wrong people," said Korir. "If you mess with runners, my friends will come back together and we will be stronger than how you left us."

As for Flowers he said he plans to retire his marathon career, but knows he has to cross the finish line in Boston first.  

"It's a fitting place to finish and feeling like I've been able to help the healing there and I'll look back on finishing there and that will be fitting," said Flowers.

Over the past year, Fleet Feet Louisville has raised more than $10,000 for the One Fund, which helps those affected by the marathon bombings. 

For more stories about the Boston Marathon bombing, click here.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.