SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Three Sacramento runners who were in last year’s Boston Marathon are heading back a year after the bombings that rocked the event.

Michelle La Sala remembers the chaos in Boston on April 15, 2013.

“Ambulances, police cars and people down on the ground just running around,” she said. “I mean complete pandemonium.”

She finished the race and was in her 21st-floor hotel room when the horrific scene played out. Two bombs killed three people and injured hundreds more.

“We were able to see the explosions and hear them,” she said. “They were really loud.”

Cynci Calvin and Denis Zilaff were stopped on the course just before they made it to the finish line.

“Someone from the event got on a megaphone, and said there’s a bombing,” Zilaff said.

Despite the chaotic events and the dramatic manhunt for those responsible, all three are training for Monday’s race. But this year, it takes on a different meaning, especially for these experienced marathoners.

“I don’t know how, especially if you were there last year,” La Sala said, “how it couldn’t be emotional running past those two spots.”

Instead of gunning for a good time like she did last year, she’s going to run for fun for Boston.

I’m going to slap hands with spectators,” she said. “Just try to go into it as more of a celebratory kind.”

Calvin says the event takes on another meaning this year.

“They came out with the Boston Strong campaign, and that just, it personifies our devotion to our sport and how positive we feel about it,” she said.

Last year would have been her 16th Boston Marathon. It was Zilaff’s first.

“I’ve actually got my number from last year,” he said. “[I’m going to] run across the finish line with both numbers.”



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