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Boston Marathon: A year later, finish line is in sight

  • Emilee Hoover, who was running the race and had reached the bottom of Heartbreak Hill when the Boston Marathon bombings happened, poses for a portrait near her home in Franklin on Friday morning, April 18, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Emilee Hoover, who was running the race and had reached the bottom of Heartbreak Hill when the Boston Marathon bombings happened, poses for a portrait near her home in Franklin on Friday morning, April 18, 2014.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Emilee Hoover, who was running the race and had reached the bottom of Heartbreak Hill when the Boston Marathon bombings happened, poses for a portrait near her home in Franklin on Friday morning, April 18, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)<br/>

    Emilee Hoover, who was running the race and had reached the bottom of Heartbreak Hill when the Boston Marathon bombings happened, poses for a portrait near her home in Franklin on Friday morning, April 18, 2014.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Emilee Hoover, who was running the race and had reached the bottom of Heartbreak Hill when the Boston Marathon bombings happened, poses for a portrait near her home in Franklin on Friday morning, April 18, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Emilee Hoover, who was running the race and had reached the bottom of Heartbreak Hill when the Boston Marathon bombings happened, poses for a portrait near her home in Franklin on Friday morning, April 18, 2014.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Emilee Hoover, who was running the race and had reached the bottom of Heartbreak Hill when the Boston Marathon bombings happened, poses for a portrait near her home in Franklin on Friday morning, April 18, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)<br/>

    Emilee Hoover, who was running the race and had reached the bottom of Heartbreak Hill when the Boston Marathon bombings happened, poses for a portrait near her home in Franklin on Friday morning, April 18, 2014.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Emilee Hoover, who was running the race and had reached the bottom of Heartbreak Hill when the Boston Marathon bombings happened, poses for a portrait near her home in Franklin on Friday morning, April 18, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)<br/>

    Emilee Hoover, who was running the race and had reached the bottom of Heartbreak Hill when the Boston Marathon bombings happened, poses for a portrait near her home in Franklin on Friday morning, April 18, 2014.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Emilee Hoover, who was running the race and had reached the bottom of Heartbreak Hill when the Boston Marathon bombings happened, poses for a portrait near her home in Franklin on Friday morning, April 18, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Emilee Hoover, who was running the race and had reached the bottom of Heartbreak Hill when the Boston Marathon bombings happened, poses for a portrait near her home in Franklin on Friday morning, April 18, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)<br/>
  • Emilee Hoover, who was running the race and had reached the bottom of Heartbreak Hill when the Boston Marathon bombings happened, poses for a portrait near her home in Franklin on Friday morning, April 18, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Emilee Hoover, who was running the race and had reached the bottom of Heartbreak Hill when the Boston Marathon bombings happened, poses for a portrait near her home in Franklin on Friday morning, April 18, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)<br/>
  • Emilee Hoover, who was running the race and had reached the bottom of Heartbreak Hill when the Boston Marathon bombings happened, poses for a portrait near her home in Franklin on Friday morning, April 18, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)<br/>

‘Of course,” Emilee Hoover of Franklin answered, when asked whether she was returning to Boston for her second marathon there.

“But I haven’t really thought of the impact it will have.”

Last year, the 33-year-old Fidelity analyst ran with a friend, reaching the bottom of Heartbreak Hill before finally looking at her cell phone to see what her cousin had been texting, over and over.

“I’m trying to breathe and run and he’s texting me,” Hoover said. “He said there were explosions at the finish line. My friend said it’s probably a transformer and I said you’re probably right.”

Soon, after the police blocked their path and sirens filled the air and blue lights flashed and the city began buzzing in horror, Hoover had an idea that she was part of history.

She called her parents, who had planned to meet her at various sections of the course. Hoover and her friend met another friend down a side street and drove to Somerville, where she was reunited with her family.

And tomorrow, she’ll be reunited with personal thoughts, two in particular.

There’s the memory of her grandfather, who died around this time, on Easter, of prostate cancer about 25 years ago. Hoover is running to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“I was 8 or 9 when my grandfather died,” Hoover said. “He was my favorite person at that time.”

And, of course, there’s the eeriness and emotions of returning to Boston, where Hoover plans to run down Boylston Street to the finish line, where a city was changed forever just 12 months ago.

“I have not thought about what it will feel like finishing this year,” Hoover said. “Hopefully with time, it will not impact people so negatively and we’ll be able to move forward and find strength.”

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