Ala. runners returning to Boston Marathon one year after bombing - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Ala. runners returning to Boston Marathon one year after bombing

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Randy Lyle. Source: WBRC video Randy Lyle. Source: WBRC video
L-R: Barbara and Jack Burnette. Source: WBRC video L-R: Barbara and Jack Burnette. Source: WBRC video
The explosion near the finish line killed three. Source: The Boston Globe The explosion near the finish line killed three. Source: The Boston Globe
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Two Alabama runners say they will run again in the Boston Marathon one year after the deadly bombing.

Vestavia Hills resident Jack Burnette still gets emotional when he thinks back to last year's Boston Marathon and how he came so close to completing it.

"Boston is the Super Bowl of marathons, so to have that taken away was just very hard," said Burnette as he held back tears.

He was about two miles away when the bombs exploded. His friend and running buddy Randy Lyle was even closer.

"I was half a mile from finishing, so there was no doubt I was going to finish. But it's still not the same thing not running through the finish line," said Lyle.

This year the duo will be among the thousands of runners returning to finish what they started.

"To get another chance, I'm going to make sure I make the most of it," said Burnette.

The pair also won't be traveling alone. Burnette's wife Barbara is going back as a spectator. She was at the finish line last year and saw the entire scene unfold.

"As an American you don't ever expect to witness that in our country. It's a surreal moment you don't think, you're not even sure that's what you've saw," she said.

The Burnettes and Lyle say they've come to grips with what happened. They say by going back they're not just fulfilling their own dreams, but honoring those injured and remembering those lost.

"I know what happened. But at the same time I'm like I can't let that stop me from going back and doing something that I've always wanted to do. And I think if people do that then they're going to let those guys win," Lyle said.

"I hope to sit in the stands again, and watch them come across the finish line, just to see the joyous response of everyone there, and I hope that it will be a packed crowd," Barbara said.

Related: TIMELINE: The Boston Marathon Bombing

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