Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - It was a record crowd at the 2013 Buffalo Marathon. For a lot of of those runners, it was an emotional day, with the memory of the Boston attack still fresh in many minds.
More than six-thousand dashed through the starting gate for the 24th Annual Buffalo Marathon.
However, it was not the record size or beefed-up security that was most noticeable to on-lookers. Rather, ti was the display of colors, shirts and logos honoring Boston.
It has been a little more than a month since the deadly bombings. Buffalo Marathon Director John Beishline says, "I think it's on the mind of every one of us. Such a tragic thing that could happen in our country."
"It's very emotional," says William Hockenhull, who ran in the Boston Marathon. "I loved the dedication at the beginning of the race and as you see a lot of people wearing the Boston colors and we'll always wear the Boston colors now."
Runners often talk about the unspoken bond that they share -- a unique sense of commrodity that shows through as they cross the finish line.
"I was like teary-eyed just coming through because I would see other people with shirts on and I know the same things were going through their mind," says Dryden resident Peggy Eck.
Hockenhull adds, "Running a marathon is always an emotional experience. More so now. More so for every runner."
Hundreds of miles away in Boston, thousands who did not get the chance to finish the marathon were finally able to take back the stretch that eluded them back on April 15th -- completing the final mile of the race.
Local runner Sherry Lageman says, "no matter what happens, we stay strong. We come back."
The Buffalo Marathon is a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon. Many runners were hoping to do just that today -- anxious and eager to be a part of next year's race.