Emotional finish in Olathe’s Garmin Marathon

OLATHE, Kan. — There was an emotional ending at the Garmin Marathon in Olathe on Saturday.  Local runners who ran in the Boston Marathon runners turned out to raise money for the victims of the bombing.

Some of them never got to cross the finish line in Boston, so they did it Saturday in Olathe instead.

As the runners began their 26-mile trek, it was hard for Jeff Maher not to think about Boston.

“It’s always a celebration.  A great day in Boston.  This one was no different until the bombs went off,” he told FOX 4 News.

Maher finished the race an hour and a half before the bombs detonated.

Jen Radmanesh was proudly wearing her first Boston medal.  She remembers the people of Boston cheering her on.  Now she’s raising money to help the victims of the bombings.

“There is so much energy and excitement, if we can do something to give back and say ‘thank you,’ we are with them in this,” she said.

Sarah Bibens said raising money for the victims of the bombing was helping her to heal.  Bibens and a couple of other runners were about seven tenths of a mile from the Boston Marathon’s finish line when chaos halted the race.

“If I’d been on goal to re-qualify, I’d have been right there. I was fortunate,” she said.

But on Saturday, back in the company of a close knit family of runners, Bibens who is injured, finished running the home stretch to the finish line in front of the home crowd.  She crossed the finish line holding hands with fellow runners Whitney and Chau, listening to the cheers of a crowd of tearful bystanders.

To the runners, it felt like all the people of Boston were running beside them.

And at the finish line, Bibens was surprised by the awarding of two medals — one from the Kansas City run and one from the Boston finish line that was just within sight, but sadly was just out of reach.

On Friday, those same local marathon runners raised $1,300 for victims of the bombing.

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