4/21/2014 - BOSTON, MA (WMBF) - More than 200 people from South Carolina were registered for Monday's race, and some of them were from Horry County. We spoke with two runners shortly after they crossed the finish line, and they say being a part of this marathon was unlike any other race they've been in.
Bruce Gregory is from Myrtle Beach and a member of the Grand Strand Running Club. He has ran in the Boston marathon several times, including last year. He says he wanted to be a part of this year's race more than ever.
His wife was waiting for him one storefront away from where one of the bombs went off last year. Gregory explains what "Boston Strong" means to him.
"For me personally, what that meant for me was that somehow I'm gonna get across that finish line. I don't know how, it might not be pretty, but I'm gonna get across that finish line, and that's how they kept supporting us throughout that entire race," Gregory said. "It's 26 miles of constant fan support."
Joseph Mazurkiewicz is also part of the Grand Strand Running Club, and had his own technique for when times got tough during the race.
"I was really breaking down, starting to cramp, and when you're hurting and in pain you start praying again - praying for the victims," Mazurkiewicz said. "It kind of cheered me on with all the support and I was able to make it through."
Gregory had one moment besides crossing that finish line that really stuck out to him.
"Just as we were turning around the bend, the fire station blasted over a bunch of speakers - they were playing 'Sweet Caroline,' which is the unofficial theme song of Boston because of the Red Sox and everything," Gregory said. "So the entire crowd started singing - all the runners were singing along with it. It was so cool."
Roscoe Griffin, the President of the Grand Strand Running Club, knows what attracts people from Myrtle Beach to run in the marathon.
"You can run marathons around here, but when you go there you've stepped up your game," Griffin said. "And you're doing something that's been around longer than any of us have been alive, so it allows you to become part of history. "
Bruce Gregory is grateful this part of history didn't get taken away after last year's tragedy.
"We came back stronger. We came back 36,000 strong, and I was just really proud to be a part of it, and really glad to be a part of this particular race, because it was better than everything else that I've ever actually been a part of," Gregory said.
Roscoe Griffin was upset he couldn't be there this year, but explains that this isn't something you just decide to do. These runners trained very hard to qualify for the race. He says he was very proud to have more than a dozen local members represent our area.