Alabama runner ready to return to Boston for 2014 marathon - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Alabama runner ready to return to Boston for 2014 marathon

Ken Harkless says he wants to focus on the triumph out of tragedy. Source: WBRC video Ken Harkless says he wants to focus on the triumph out of tragedy. Source: WBRC video
Ken Harkless after the 2013 Boston Marathon. Source: Ken Harkless/WBRC video Ken Harkless after the 2013 Boston Marathon. Source: Ken Harkless/WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Even if Ken Harkless wanted to, it's been hard for him and the thousands of other runners who ran the Boston Marathon to escape the coverage of the 2013 bombing the last few days.

"I'll be going up on Friday, running on Monday so certainly it's been on my mind the closer that it gets to the event," Harkless said.

But as Harkless runs, he'll choose to focus on the blessings, not the blast.

"It's a tremendous amount of stories of courage, the people that were hurt, coming back from rehab, it puts tears in my eyes hearing about that and looking at that," he said.

Harkless, who's been a runner all his life, had finished the race and was headed back to his hotel room when he learned of the blast last year.

"By the time got to my room, my phone had blown up, beHarkless, who's been a runner all his life, had finished the race and was headed back to his hotel room when he learned of the blast last year.fore the end of the day, easily over 100 different texts and calls, people concerned," he said.

As he watched the continuous news coverage, it took awhile for the gravity of what had happened to set in.

"Some people would say it was shock, but I didn't feel it was shock. Of course it was some gratitude, and then concern for other people," he said.

In the last year, he's had time to reflect on all that's happened and how close he came to it all. Still, he's headed back.

"Why not go back is the way I look at it. Running, to me, is the best hope for mankind. I just like to see the different sizes, the different bodies, the age groups, and people are more or less encouraging," he said.

And yes, he says, there will be some tears and somberness as well. But it won't be his focus. Instead, as runners do, he'll focus on what lies ahead.

"The determination, the perseverance, the whole human spirit to say, ‘Okay, this happened. We don't see it as a bad. It is bad, but on the other hand, we're determined to get past this and show we prevail over evil or over negative.' That's the way I look at it," he said.

Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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