Last spring’s terrorist attack carried out by Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev may give some people a reason to skip out on the 2014 Boston Marathon, but Killeen attorney Steve Walden knows that’s just one of the many reasons he should go.
After the bombing last year, Walden knew he had to be part of the crowd that would run and show off the resilience of the event and American citizens during the 2014 Boston Marathon in April.
“I knew that I was not going to miss this race for anything,” Walden said.
The 118th Boston Marathon will be run on Monday, April 21.
Walden, 44, qualified for the 2014 Boston Marathon by running a time of 3:12.49 at the Army Marathon last year.
Walden will be volunteering at this year’s Army Marathon on Mar. 2 as a Starting Line Coordinator because that date falls too close to the Boston Marathon to fully exert himself at the second running of the Army Marathon.
“This is all very, very positive and helps legitimize the Army Marathon as a great course to come to help qualify,” Army Marathon race director Ed Bandas said.
The Army Marathon II begins at 7 a.m. on March 2. The course begins in Killeen just outside of Fort Hood and going through Harker Heights, Near Nolanville and through Belton before ending in Temple.
The Army Marathon II also has a half marathon and 5K run.
Walden remembers Apr. 15, 2013 vividly.
He was sitting at his desk during a normal workday when he began getting text messages from friends asking about his safety.
“Suddenly I started getting some emails and other texts,” Walden said. “‘Are you in Boston?’ ‘Where are you?’”
This year’s Boston Marathon will have a field of 36,000 runners, an increase of 9,000 over its usual size.
Walden said he took up running in high school and the passion and drive never went away. Even during the grueling eight to 12 weeks before a marathon race.
“At an early age I started really liking to race and I stayed with it pretty much all of my life,” Walden said.