Orlando woman prepares to head back to Boston for the marathon - FOX 35 News Orlando

Orlando woman prepares to head back to Boston for the marathon

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ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

Tuesday marks one year since two homemade bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  It's a day permanently etched in Orlando runner Kelly Ferris Duckworth's mind. 

"I still can't believe it's been a year.  That its been a whole year since everything happened.  It feels like yesterday," said Duckworth. 

She had trained for five-and-a-half years to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  At the start of last years race, she dreamed of running across the finish line.  That never happened.  Duckworth was between a half and a quarter-mile from the finish line when terror struck, literally stopping her in her track. 

"I hit a wall of people. I looked up and I saw thousands of people standing in front of me.  I was like what was going on," said Duckworth.

Slowly, word spread along the course of explosions at the finish line.  Suddenly, all she could hear were sirens in a sea of red and blue lights. 

"I was in disbelief.  There was the FBI, bomb squads, BPD, every kind of armored car you could think of just paraded down the streets, that's when it hit me." 

She wouldn't be crossing the finish line.  Duckworth found her husband and watched the terror play out on television. She was horrified and angry, but determined. 

"I had it in the back of my mind since that day of last year I was going to go back if given the option."

Although Duckworth didn't finish the race, last summer she did get her medal, "Just as a keepsake," said Duckworth.  Days later she got an invitation to run this years marathon. 

"I paid my registration within minutes of getting the email.  I just felt like I had to be there in light of everything that happened those that lost their lives, those tragically injured, those who lost somebody.  On top of that, I didn't cross the finish line.  That was the number one thing I wanted to do.  It's been my dream for the last 5-and-a-half years," said Duckworth.

Duckworth her husband and her daughter leave for Boston this weekend.  Little by little reality is sinking in. 

"I'm not going to lie.  I'm a little nervous, not for running the race but for just the emotion because I find myself running and getting a little emotional about it," said Duckworth.

Duckworth typically runs a marathon in four hours.   She gave birth to her first child six months before last years Boston Marathon.  Looking back, she told FOX 35 that she is thankful she wasn't as prepared as she would have liked to have been for the steep hill at mile 21, know as "Heartbreak Hill."  Had that not slowed her down, she likely would have been in finish line area when the bombs went off.

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