Boston Marathon runners unable to finish get to run in 2014 - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Boston Marathon runners will get second chance to finish race

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The BAA announced it will give Boston Marathon runners unable to cross the finish line an early entry into the 2014 Boston Marathon. The BAA announced it will give Boston Marathon runners unable to cross the finish line an early entry into the 2014 Boston Marathon.

BOSTON (RNN) – On Thursday, the Boston Athletics Association announced it will invite the more than 5,000 runners who were unable to cross the finish line to participate in the 2014 Boston Marathon.

The race was stopped on April 15 after two bombs went off near the finish line killing three and injuring more than 200.

Ryan Polly, of Williston, VT, filed a petition on Change.org for the nearly 5,700 runners to gain automatic entry into next year's race for everyone who was unable to finish this year.

"I'm so happy to hear that the Boston Athletic Association will allow thousands of runners, like myself, who did not finish the marathon in 2013 the chance to finish what we started in 2014. We are so appreciative of this opportunity and thank the BAA for hearing our request on Change.org and elsewhere," he said in response to the announcement.

According to the news release, to be eligible, the participant must have been an entrant who started the 2013 race and reached the half marathon mark.

Registration for the 2014 Boston Marathon will begin in September and those participants who were unable to cross the finish will receive a code in August for early entry.

"The opportunity to run down Boylston Street and to cross the finish line amid thousands of spectators is a significant part of the entire Boston Marathon experience," said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. Executive Director in the news release. "With the opportunity to return and participate in 2014, we look forward to inviting back these athletes and we expect that most will renew their marathon training commitment."

Closure is something many of the runners who signed the petition said they struggle with.

Janine Forgione, of Cary, NC was so close to finishing, "I could taste my medal."

"I think we as a group are put into a very difficult position to ask for closure," she said in response to the petition. "I waffle between the guilt for asking to run again and then being angry that I didn't finish and then the worst is that I feel, in light of what happened ... like I shouldn't ask at all."

As of Thursday, the petition had received more than 28,000 signatures.

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