The Boston Marathon is considered a real badge of honor when you qualify and then run it.
Theresa Panter of Gainesville has been running the marathon for nearly two decades.
She and her husband Allan, an ER doctor, were in the middle of the chaos last year when the bombs went off.
But Theresa Panter says she will run again on Monday. Her husband will wait for her at the finish line as he does each year.
Theresa Panter was about a minute away from the finish line last year when the bombs exploded. "I heard the cannon but I didn't register," she explained. "I had my iPod on. Then I saw debris fly and registered the sound with the debris."
People were suddenly running toward her and she realized something was terribly wrong. And then it dawned on her: "Oh, I was panicked because I knew where he'd be."
Her husband was at the finish line right where the bombs detonated. Next to Allan Panter lay a man with both legs blown off. Next to that man was a friend killed by the impact and more than a dozen others who lost limbs.
"He had already started working on people," said Theresa Panter. "There was never an option to run away. You know, he's an emergency room doctor."
Despite the horrors of last year, 53-year-old Theresa Panter will return, making this her 16th Boston Marathon. "It is my favorite. This is my outlet. This'll be my 16th marathon."
Theresa Panter says she's scared, but undeterred even after police found and detonated two suspicious bags near the finish line Tuesday.
"I'm just going to go back and finish it and not trip over my lump in my throat or slip on my tears," she said, choking up. "But I'm nervous, too."
"And Allan he goes, 'You know, we've compromised our freedom a little bit.' It's understandable, too. But Allan is the man going, 'We can't let them win by ruining the event that is yearly and fun.'"
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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