YONKERS, N.Y. -- Though an injury left her only able to watch the 2013 Boston Marathon from the sidelines after months of training, Bette Clark of Yonkers considers herself lucky.
Though many of her teammates and friends won't be returning this year, Clark, 58, plans to run the 2014 marathon on April 21 in solidarity with Boston as a tribute.
"Last year was very emotional for the running community. So, I decided if I was in shape to run, I would," she said.
Clark, went along to support her Bronx-based running group on April 15, 2013 when the tragic Boston Marathon bombings occurred. Thankfully, by the time the bombs were detonated, her teammates had already finished and she was safe at the 21-mile marker. However, according to Clark, had she been running, she would have most likely crossed the finish line closer to the time of the explosion.
Clark ran her first marathon as a present to herself for her fiftieth birthday in 2005. Shortly after, in 2006, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After just a year of recovery, she returned to running in 2007.
"Training is what helped me get through treatment," she said. "Running afterwards was tough. It took me several years to get back in shape. I've run my very best in the past couple of years. I'm in good shape now."
Now, running has become a huge part of her life.
"I see it as a huge stress reliever, its also a wonderful way to set goals," she said.
This marathon will be the 25-year Yonkers resident's fifth Boston Marathon and seventeenth marathon overall.
Clark said although she had hoped last year's tragedy would not change the face of running, it has.
"In some ways, I think every runner was impacted. But, runners often have this need to tough it out and overcome adversity," she said. "I think we all want to show solidarity and support."