Two Rochester runners make journey back to Boston Marathon - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Two Rochester runners make journey back to Boston Marathon

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Distad and Hemenway train on the Douglas Trail Distad and Hemenway train on the Douglas Trail
Trevor Distad Trevor Distad
Andy Hemenway Andy Hemenway
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Trevor Distad and Andy Hemenway are two runners from Rochester who made it out of last year's Boston Marathon alive, but it is their decision to run again that is the true test of strength.

"I can still remember the sounds, the explosion," Distad said. "At that point when that went off then everyone took off. Andy and I actually ended up running into the same store. He ended up upstairs and I ended up in the basement so even in that short amount of time, and his wife actually ended up in a different store."

Distad and Hemenway were two runners far from the Rochester paths they know, far from communication and lost in the middle of the Boston Marathon tragedy.

"Pretty much the street was empty in about 30 seconds, and all I had on me was 3 dollars," Hemenway said. "My wife actually had all the rest, my phone, my bag, my wallet, everything."

As other runners fled, the pair made an escape they won't soon forget.

"We went out through the back through an alley, and we turned right," Hemenway said. "We were going back toward the Boylston area and there was a gentleman whose lower left leg, from probably mid-calf was removed."

Even today it's a moment they can't run away from.

"The thoughts always go through your mind," Hemenway said. "The climate, and the atmosphere, everything you still live it everyday."

For these runners if you can't run away from it, you run toward it.

"These cowards that performed this act, you're not going to scare us," Hemenway said. "You're not going to keep us from doing these types of things."

So the duo hit the pavement.

Preparing for this year's Boston Marathon the only way they knew how.

"In Minnesota it's the winters, it's the ice, and trying to run through the snow, and the cold," Hemenway said.

It was never easy.

"It's not as sore as it used to be, still hurts," Hemenway said.

But they pushed on, knowing just like that day one year ago they aren't alone.

"Everybody kind of pushes one another, helps one another, it's the good thing about a running community," Hemenway said.

They are a group built on pushing through adversity, never giving up.

"That's why we're going to show them, you know, you can't knock us down," Hemenway said.

So they will get back up, run again and again.


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