Indy runners talk about emotional return to Boston Marathon

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INDIANAPOLIS — More than 900 miles away from the site of the Boston Marathon, runners and walkers laced up their shoes in Broad Ripple Monday night. They went for 26.2 minutes on the Monon, remembering last year and celebrating this year.

For the first time in 13 years, an American won the race.

Hoosier Matt Gutwein finished the Marathon Monday and couldn’t be happier Meb Keflezighi won.

“Meb has become a friend and I feel very fortunate to have a friendship with Meb,” said Gutwein. “We got together last night for about half an hour and for him to win today is just extraordinary.”

Gutwein is the president and chief executive of the Marion County Health and Hospital Corporation, which operates Eskenazi Hospital.

Monday marked his fourth Boston Marathon. He intended for last year to be his last, but then he witnessed the second bomb and said there was no way he wasn’t going back in 2014.

“It was extremely emotional and there were just lots of times on the course where I thought about last year and what happened and what I saw and personally experienced,” said Gutwein. “There were times where I had tears in my eyes as I was running down the course today.”

It’s a similar story for Michael Shirrell from Westfield and the two other men he trains with in Indianapolis.

“It’s always there in the back of your mind throughout the race,” said Shirrell. “This is the pinnacle of where I will run, so to have something thing like that happen, we wanted to come back to kind of stick our noses at the terrorists and say you know, you can do this to us but you’re not going to take our race from us.”

Shirrell has already qualified for the 2015 Boston Marathon.

Gutwein is undecided about next year. Right now, he’s enjoying the moment.

“People were just determined to come back here and show strength and show civility and show humanity and show community and those feelings were very evident all throughout the day today.”