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White Plains Road Runner Staff Weighs In On Boston Marathon's Impact

Andrew Kimerling, owner of Westchester Road Runner, and employee Gerry Sullivan.
Andrew Kimerling, owner of Westchester Road Runner, and employee Gerry Sullivan. Photo Credit: Suzanne Samin

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- After the tragic Boston Marathon bombing just a year ago, the 2014 race on Monday, April 21 will be high-spirited, but perhaps a little tense as well.

The Boston Marathon's registration numbers soared this year with runners hoping to offer their support and solidarity. A bomb scare on Wednesday at the finish line, just days before the race, however, may have left some participants on edge.

Has the atmosphere around marathons and other major running events become tense since Boston?

Andrew Kimerling, who has owned Westchester Road Runner in White Plains for 34 years, said he hasn't seen a notable decrease in the interest levels of runners and marathoners since the 2013 bombing.

However, scares like these are now a part of the world everyone must adjust to, according to Kimerling.

"This is the society we live in today. I think that runners wanting to run shows that they're not going to let outside forces like this stop them from doing things they love to do," he said.

However, the perseverance of the running community does not come without a little hesitance.

"Are people nervous? They're a little more aware," he said. "They know now that there are potential crazies somewhere that could disrupt a huge event like this. Because, even if you have police every five feet, throughout 26 miles you can't protect everything and everybody."

Gerry Sullivan of Yonkers, an employee at Westchester Road Runner and marathon runner, said he's concerned about the security of marathons, but hopes people pay attention to the good things that come out of them along with the tragedies.

"Unfortunately, there are tragedies, but there's a lot of good out there too. You're always a little hesitant though," he said.

Sullivan had spectated the 2013 New York City Marathon, which took place seven months after Boston. He said though security was very high, the spirit of the runners was unshaken.

He added that this year, a few people he knew were returning to Boston after running last year to finish the race and support the community.

Runners, weigh in. Do you believe the running community has been changed by the Boston Marathon bombing? Join the conversation below.


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