Even though she lived in Boston for 16 years, Jessica Krywosa never really watched the Boston Marathon.
However, she said, attending the marathon as an observer was commonplace for other Bostonians on Marathon Monday.
Youd have to deal with the traffic, the shut-down streets, the influx of runners and tourists on the subway, she said.
Now a marathoner herself, she speculates that if she had not left Boston in 2012 to move to Clinton, she could have been a spectator last year.
Most will recall with horror the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, which killed three people and injured more than 300.
Watching it on TV, I felt the same level of fear and confusion as I did when watching the towers fall on 9/11. It brought back that anything can happen fear, said the 1996 graduate of South Lewis Central School, Turin.
But rather than be put off, Ms. Krywosa was determined to prove that fear would not dictate where she ran.
The Boston Marathon is the elite marathon globally. To be a part of that is huge. But to be a part of it the year following something as tragic as the bombing? Thats priceless, she said. I had to do it.
Ms. Krywosa signed up for the marathon with two goals in mind: to show that what-ifs should not dictate ones life, but also to raise funds for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
As a member of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team, her goal was to raise $4,000, which she reached as of Thursday, although she still is taking donations until race day.
Donations can be made by visting http://wdt.me/4hDRmV. Funds raised for the institute go to the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research.
What better way to celebrate free will, patriotism, freedom and living life than to overcome a gigantic obstacle, raise money for cancer research and take part in a day that many only can dream of? Ms. Krywosa said.
If Im nervous, then they win, she said. Im not nervous; Im proud, honored and ready.
This will be her fourth marathon; she began participating in such events in 2011 with a race in Chicago.
Ms. Krywosa has chronicled her journey as she prepped for the Monday race on a blog at http://jessrunsboston.com.
She said she would post updates following the event under the Twitter handle @Jesskry.