Stocktons hope for bomb-free Boston Marathon this go-round

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Tara aims to finish the race this time

By Damon Lawrence

Tara Stockton was within a half-mile of completing the Boston Marathon last year when bombs exploded near the finish line. The race was halted and she never got to finish.

Stockton will get another chance later this month.

“The runners that weren’t allowed to finish, they gave us another invitation,” she said. “I’m excited at getting another opportunity to go.”

This year’s Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 21. Stockton said last year’s terrorist attack didn’t make her apprehensive about going back.

“I’m not the kind of person that lives in fear,” she said.

Stockton’s husband is Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton. He said he’ll be accompanying his wife to Boston just like he did last year.

“I’m excited for my wife,” he said. “It’s an honor to get to run in Boston, and she’s always been looking forward to getting across that finish line.”

The sheriff said he was one block away from the finish line when he heard the bombs go off.

“When I heard it I knew instantly that there was either a gas explosion or bomb that went off,” he said. “It rocked the entire ground.”

The sheriff said he expects the security to be tenfold compared to what it was last year.

Tara Stockton said her training has been going well so far.

“Balancing it with work is sometimes a challenge, but I’ve still been able to get my long runs in,” she said, “and so far, knock on wood, I’ve not had any big injuries. That’s very important.”