OLATHE, Kan. - Garmin headquarters in Olathe has invited all Boston marathon runners from Kansas City to cross its finish line at their annual marathon Saturday.
Friday, local race teams, runners and Garmin employees set up for the weekend events.
At least three local women will finish what they started before the tragedy in Boston.
Sarah Bibens was at her very first Boston marathon. The 55-year-old runner is not giving up running and said crossing this finish line here at home means healing and closure.
"When I got home, I felt cheated from that…which sounds very selfish to say,” Bibens said as she tried to choke back her tears.
“What shook me up a bit was knowing if I had reached my goal I would have been crossing the finish line at the time of the explosion,” she said.
An injury slowed Bibens Monday. She was just past mile 25 in Boston when her daughter ran onto the course and told her what happened.
“I thought she was running out to give me a hug, and she was running out to tell me the course had been closed,” Bibens said.
Bibens did not hear these explosions, but quickly saw a lot of commotion. Her daughter and husband did hear the first blast, and then went to find Sarah. The family knew they had to get out of there.
“Military trucks crossed the course with everybody fully armed with weapons,” Bibens said.
As the family left these streets, Bibens saw acts of bravery and heroism with first responders, racers and even strangers offering to help anyway they could.
“Those are the people that deserve a medal,” she added.
When Bibens got back to Kansas City, all the news and pictures of what happened really sunk in.
“For runners it's forever going to change how people feel when they cross the finish line,” she said.
She wants that change to be for the better, which is one of the reasons she is finishing her race at Garmin Marathon on Saturday.
“No, we’re not going to let someone terrorize our country and have us be afraid to be part of events like that," Bibens said.
She along with two other women in her group of running friends will finish what they started in Boston, here at home, and give back to those affected in Boston.
“I think it will kind of bring closure for us," she said.
Bibens made boxes for donations in hopes to raise money for OneFundBoston.org, a charity set up by the Massachusetts governor and Boston’s mayor to help victims and their families. Those donation boxes are at the Garmin Headquarters all day Saturday, and runners hope to see community, neighbors and friends out to cheer on the runners.
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