The streets of downtown Rockford fill with runners for the annual Rockford Marathon.
Runners battle heat exhaustion, muscle cramps and fatigue, but as they cross the finish line, it take a different kind of strength to keep the thought of the Boston Marathon from affecting their performance.
"My primary concern is my safety out on the road as a runner, as opposed to what else could take place," says Matt Thomas, a marathon runner.
Jennifer Roser came in first in the women's marathon. "Running is so much of a mental sport, as well as a physical sport. When you're out there for 26 miles, you think a lot of things and most of all though I was just fortunate to be here and be able to run it. I trained for it and it wasn't going to stop me."
Another competitor in the women's run, Rockford triathlete Tara Sheetz, ran the Boston Marathon in April.
After crossing the finish line, she headed to a medical tent for help with her breathing. That's when she found herself only 50 feet away from where the first bomb went off.
She says memories of that day still haunt her."I've had a really rough month. A lot of things have gone on this last month, so a few weeks ago I didn't think I'd be running at all. Two days ago I didn't think I'd be running. so I was just glad to get out and do what I love doing."
Rockford Marathon race Director Josh Ruston says they don't want runners to have security concerns in the first place. "We're just always aware of suspicious activity and somebody being where they shouldn't. So we're always keen on looking out for that."
Tara says she tried to focus on enjoying today's race, "I ran most of the race with a friend of mine for the first 20 miles, and then I started feeling really good and so the last 10 K I decided to go hard and just kind of see what I've got."
It was this effort that helped her finish in 4th place.
In addition to the full marathon, there was also a 13 mile half-marathon and 10K run. An estimated 1,200 runners participated across all three events.
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