Last week marked a year since two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, shooting nails and other shrapnel into the crowd near the finish line.
Race organizers, in the aftermath of the twin bombings that killed three spectators and injured more than 260 people, expanded the field of runners this year by 9,000 to nearly 36,000.
Among those runners is a metro woman who has vowed that last year's events are not going to stop her from participating.
Debbie McCarty qualified last year, and fortunately for her, she couldn't compete in last year's run because the sign up deadline had already passed.
She is running in the 2014 Boston Marathon on Monday. It is only her third marathon. She started training in Lee's Summit almost five years ago.
She says it is a new dream of hers that she has worked hard to fulfill.
"The word 'can't' is never in my vocabulary, and my thing is if I can do it, anyone can do it," she said. "I encourage everyone to follow their dreams, follow their heart."
And even considering last year's events, McCarty's not afraid.
"It's just very emotional, because I know what it takes to run a marathon and it saddens me to think that someone would target something such as that and to hurt people who have trained so hard and so long," she said.
More than 3,500 police officers will patrol this year's Boston Marathon, more than double the number deployed last year.
Onlookers are being encouraged to carry all personal items in clear plastic bags or they'll be subject to search.
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