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Courageous Michigan Woman Ready To Return To Boston Marathon

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GRAND RAPIDS, MI (WLNS) - Tuesday April 15 marks the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, claiming the lives of three people and injuring hundreds.

Roughly 5,700 people couldn't complete the race last year.

6 News Nick Perreault caught up with one of them, a Michigan woman who was invited to finish the race next week.

Virginia Beard says the 2013 Boston Marathon changed her as a runner and a person.

"It took me about a month to quit crying and start to process it all and to not feel guilty that I had emotions about it," said Beard. "The blood on the ground we saw when we got to pick up our bags and the smells around there stuck with me."

Battling a knee injury, Beard says that fateful day she remembers being sore, sad and cold.

"Restaurant owners were coming out with table cloths to wrap runners in while we sat there."

Among all the chaos, Beard says she'll never forget the swift moves of one paramedic.

"He had picked up a kid and he had sat there holding him as ambulances sped by because they were full and a runner had come up to him who finished and took off running to the closest hospital."

Beard says she's going to honor that moment by returning next week to finish was she started, despite already having the medal.

She's bringing crosses with her and plans to leave one at the finish line and where her picture was taken last year, half a mile away.

Beard wants to thank the city and "reclaim sort of the full cycle of what the experience was." She also wants to prove that runners will always move forward.

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