MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Boston Marathon is considered by many to be the most prestigious marathon in the world. Last year, the Boston Marathon was marred by tragedy. On April 15, 2013, two pressure-cooker bombs were detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring at least 264 more. Two from Milwaukee who were there last year are headed back to run again.
Out on the roads in Washington County, there is extra push and drive for runner Richard Dodd.
"For me, it's celebrating nature and all things good," Dodd said.
Every stride has meaning, and every breath is important.
"I try to make my miles count," Dodd said.
Dodd has run 49 marathons. This year's Boston Marathon will be his 50th. He says last year's was unforgettable.
"We heard nothing but sirens for an hour non-stop, so we knew something terrible had happened," Dodd said.
Dodd finished the marathon, and less than an hour later, chaos. Two bombs went off in the crowd -- killing three and injuring more than 200.
"Last year was my first Boston Marathon in 30 years and I really couldn't feel that good about it or celebrate it because less than an hour later mayhem occurred," Dodd said.
That's why he's headed back to Boston for his 50th marathon.
"I had re-qualified and we were bound and determined to go back and end this on a positive note," Dodd said.
He's not the only one.
"It was difficult to be a bystander when something was happening and you couldn't really do much to help," Carianne Yerkes said.
Yerkes is a Milwaukee Police Inspector. She was less than a mile away when the bombs went off. She is also heading back to Boston to compete in this year's marathon.
"Going back this year brings us back to the spirit of running," Yerkes said.
It's a spirit that will not falter -- but only grow stronger.
"For the first time in 50 marathons, I'm not all that concerned about my finish time. I just want to enjoy the ride and enjoy the celebration," Dodd said.
Both Dodd and Yerkes say they're not concerned about safety this year. They say they believe the added security measures will ensure everyone's safety.