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With a sheriff for a husband, Roane County runner Tara Stockton is used to being around law enforcement.
But even she was overwhelmed by the police presence she witnessed Monday while running in the Boston Marathon.
“It was unbelievable,” she said. “They had every kind of law enforcement you can think of.”
Three people were killed and hundreds of others injured when bombs exploded near the finish line at last year’s marathon.
The security was beefed up for this year’s race. Stockton said that helped make her run worry-free.
“It gave you a feeling of being totally safe,” she said. “That was extremely important to everyone. We could just run the marathon and enjoy that experience.”
Stockton participated in last year’s marathon. She was within a half-mile of finishing when the race was stopped because of the bombings. All of the runners who didn’t get to finish were invited back to compete in this year’s marathon.
“I’ve ran New York and Chicago and I’ve never seen that many people come out to support all the runners,” Stockton said. “It was just simply amazing.”
Stockton said the crowd seemed to get more in a frenzy the closer she got to the finish line.
“People were just electrified,” she said. “There was one stretch where I gave high fives non-stop. It was the most awesome experience you could possibly imagine.”
Stockton finished the marathon in 5 hours, 4 minutes and 3 seconds.
“You have just such a joy at the end that it’s hard to explain how exciting it is to be able to finish,” she said. “You’re finishing the Boston Marathon, and having all those people there cheer you on as you finished was just awesome.”
Stockton said her husband, Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton, and granddaughter met her at the finish line.
“It was difficult to locate them because the crowds were so thick, but once we met up, it was just a wonderful feeling to have them there at the finish line,” she said. “Having them experience that with me was great.”
Stockton ran her first marathon in 2001.
She said she plans to retire now, having finished the Boston Marathon.
“I’ll still run the half marathons, but retire from the full ones,” she said.