8 runners take on the 2014 Boston Marathon

Our Runners

Eric Ashe is pounding out 100 miles a week with the goal of breaking 2:18 in Boston. If he does that, he’ll qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials. Eric ran — and won — his first marathon in October 2012 (in Cape Cod). He was an accomplished runner at Boston University and now coaches at UMass-Boston and BU. (Age on race day: 25 / Goal time: sub-2:18)

Amanda Burgess was less than a mile away from finishing in 2013 when the race was stopped. Her two kids were waiting at the finish line. She’s back this year “to give my son the strength to hear thunder, listen to fireworks and not panic at the sound of a fire truck.” She’s also a triathlete. (36 / 4:00)

Demi Clark was bib number 21724 in the 2013 race, among the last runners to receive an official time as the bombs went off. Demi’s left ear drum was blown out by the explosion. But she says she hasn’t missed a day of running since then. A tattoo on her right shoulder says “I still rise.” (37 / sub-4:00)

Matthew Conlon is a graduate student at UMass-Boston. He ran his first Boston Marathon in 2012, raising money for a local hospital where he plays guitar for chemotherapy patients. A spectator in 2013, he’s running this year to raise money for a scholarship in memory of bombing victim Krystle Campbell. (23 / 3:20)

Dawn Castillo Harper is a new Bostonian, by way of Louisiana, who made it to 25.5 miles before the bombs went off. This time around, she is raising money for the Watertown Police Foundation in the community where the surviving bombing suspect was apprehended. (29 / 3:35)

Jannine Myers is a New Zealander married to a U.S. Marine in Okinawa, Japan. She qualified but skipped Boston last year so she could run in California with a group of friends. “I feel truly blessed that I opted to go to Napa Valley instead. But now that I am registered for the 2014 Boston marathon, it’s on my heart to run in honor of those who were victims of [last] year’s brutal terrorist attack.” (43 / 3:30)

Amelia Nelson is a nurse who volunteered to work the 2013 race. She was assigned to “Zone 1,” the finish line area. As she told us, she saw things that day that no one should ever have to see. Since then, she’s been running to “heal, running to forget, running to process.” Boston will be her first-ever marathon, and she’ll be running with other members of the Zone 1 Warriors. (27 / finish)

Arielle Rausin is a University of Illinois student and wheelchair track athlete. She’s been working hard and finally qualified for Boston last summer in Minnesota, where she beat her personal record by 30 minutes. She blogged about a meaningful milestone in November: She has now been in a wheelchair for half her life. (20 / 2:13)

Editors: Eyder Peralta, Wright Bryan and Justine Kenin

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