OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Near-record 36,000 runners are expected to take part in this year's Boston Marathon, about 260 of them hailing from the Kansas City metro area, two of whom never got a chance to cross the finish line last year.
An estimated one million spectators will gather along the historic Boston route to cheer them on-- that's twice the usual amount of those who line the streets.
That day, the bombings killed three people and injured or maimed 260 others. It's a day the people who were there can't forget.
But Boston Marathoner and KC local Greg Hall wants to change those painful memories and replace them with good.
"I want to go back, and celebrate. How could I not be a part of that?" Hall said.
He said he predicts this year's event will be watched by the world.
Hall is organizing the fourth annual Boston-bound dinner for runners who have competed in the past and who qualified for this year's anticipated 26.2 mile Hopkinton-to-Boston race.
He said after last years’ experience, the local runners have built a special bond and should be able to share those experiences.
"For weeks after that, I'd be driving to work and just start crying," Hall remembered.
Marathon organizers are allowing anyone who didn't complete the race last year to do so this year.
"I think this will be one spectacular event." Hall said. "I think the country will stop for those few hours on that Patriot's Day."
Hall invites Boston Marathon runner from past and present to join him at Cinzetti's Restaurant at 91st and Metcalf in Overland Park, on April 13 at 7 p.m. You can RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org