SWFL runners in Boston Marathon 10 years after bombing

Reporter: Jolena Esperto Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

Runners, some of them from Southwest Florida, are preparing for Monday morning’s Boston Marathon 10 years after the iconic event suffered a bombing.

People seem pleased with the new security practices put in place and are excited to get back out there and celebrate the strength of Boston with a race that people have trained so hard for.

“I was very excited because Boston is the best, in my opinion, the best marathon,” said Gina Fidler. “I was excited to be running it, and I had been doing a lot of training. And I had… I think it was at mile 21 I ran into my husband and my stepson. And I was feeling really good.”

Fidler, a Naples resident, ran her first marathon in Boston on that fateful day in 2013.

“There was a line of police that came up the road, and I had remembered earlier during the race, I had seen ambulances and police cars kind of flying down the road and really not watching the runners,” Fidler said. “And I just remember thinking, ‘Well, that’s kind of strange,’ but you don’t think anything of that.”

The bombings left three dead, including an 8-year-old boy. Fidler is thankful she and her family were OK.

“For me to be able to find my family in those thousands and thousands of people… I mean, that was definitely, you know, we all have our God moments,” Fidler said. “That is one that I will just always remember.”

Richard Kolko, a safety and security specialist and retired FBI agent, has worked security at the marathon for years after the bombings occurred.

“The Boston Marathon is designated as a national special security event; that means it gets assistance from federal, state and local authorities,” Kolko said. “They’ve always had that in the past. But after the bombing of 2013, it was ramped way up. And they’ve kept it up ever since then, to ensure that nothing like what happened back then could happen again.”

“We, you know, are not going to be stopped by this kind of thing,” said Naples runner Aubrey Aldy. “I think it almost, like, kind of heightened that excitement, almost.”

Aldy will run the Boston Marathon for the first time this year.

“To be here for that, you know, the 10-year anniversary of something horrible, but also showing the strength of runners in Boston,” Aldy said.

Kolko says the preparation for the 2023 Boston Marathon started right after last year’s marathon ended, and more and more security will be present leading up to the main event.

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