This 118th running of the Boston Marathon will be an especially emotional one.
For Danielle Fogarty, and thousands of other athletes running the Boston Marathon just picking up a race number this year is special.
"This is the beginning of finishing," said Fogarty, who lives in North Bennington, Vermont, but spent five years living in Boston. She witnessed last year's bombings, and never officially finished the race.
"I turned left on Boylston and was running down Boylston and could see the finish line bridge, and just saw the first explosion," added Fogarty.
She kept running, knowing Charles, her partner of ten years, was in the bleachers next to the blast.
"Because I knew Danielle was so close, I was looking down the street, literally saw the second bomb go off because I was looking in that direction," said Charles Waters.
Through good fortune, they found each other quickly.
Uninjured, they fled the city.
For Charles, Sunday was his first time back, "We parked in the same garage we parked in, so as we were walking from the garage to the hotel I recognized the streets we were going down."
The pair still gets emotional thinking of last April 15, but find comfort in seeing so many coming back to race again this year.
"It's so nice with everyone here," said Fogarty.
While visitors still take time to stop and remember the victims of last years bombings, this year the feeling is decidedly uplifting.
"Everyone's good spirited, really excited to move forward you know, this year especially. Lots of good energy," said Tyler Brinkman of Falmouth, Maine.
Laura Lennartz, one of 21,000 racers from outside New England, also senses the positive spirit, "I just missed the cut off for registration last year, I was sad not to be here. This is going to be a really special race."
And for those returning runners, including Fogarty, small gifts of kindness, like hand knit scarves handed out by Old South Church, go a long way.
"This is from the Weimar family, thank you."
By the time the race gets underway, organizers said they expect some one million spectators to line the course.
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.