Local runners say crowd inspiring, motivating at Boston Marathon

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- "Boston Strong" was a phrase heard a lot after last year's bombings at the marathon's finish line -- and one used as a source of inspiration as runners ran the 2014 marathon on Monday, April 21st. FOX6 News caught up with some runners returning to Milwaukee at General Mitchell International Airport on Monday night.

This year's marathon includes the second-largest field in Boston Marathon history -- with more than 35,000 runners.

FOX6 News on Monday night reconnected with 29-year-old Amber Hogan of Milwaukee. She ran the Boston Marathon on Monday for two!

Hogan is 16 weeks pregnant.

Hogan says early into the 26.2-mile journey, she began to have doubts.

"It was a hard race. I am not going to lie. At mile five I was so hot, and I was like, 'what if I don't make it?'" Hogan said.

Hogan pushed on and finished -- describing a very welcoming city, supporting fans and compassionate runners.

"You just look up at the crowd because they are above you and you are under the bridge and it was just beautiful," Hogan said.

At Mitchell International Airport on Monday night, FOX6 News met with several runners who experienced an incredible turnaround from tragedy to triumph.

Jim Gross is an elementary school teacher -- and Monday was his first Boston Marathon.

"Extra special, extra loud. It's almost ear piercing to hear all the support and all the fans cheering for you," Gross said.

It was the seventh time running for Jeff Kobinsky.

"I had some tough moments on the course and it was tempting to walk a few miles but I say 'you know what? They've gone through a lot. They've struggled. Least I can do is finish this,'" Kobinsky said.

Ronn Blaha and wife Deb ran together. They finished last year's race minutes before the first explosion.

"We decided pretty quickly we were going to go back. It was just something we had to do. It was emotional today but it was just a phenomenal feeling," Deb Blaha said.

"We've taken the marathon back. We've shown the resiliency of the city of Boston. We've shown the resiliency of the marathoners. These are tough people," Ronn Blaha said.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.