ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) –April 16 marks the start of the 2023 Boston Marathon, ten years after those in attendance experienced a bombing. While racers reflect on the 2013 bombing, spirits still remain high before Monday’s race.

Toni Rubino went to the marathon ten years ago to show support for her friend, Shelly Waite, when the tragedy took place. “The runner had a three and a 6-year-old and she wanted her kids to be there, so I took her kids. They could see their mom run the marathon, which made things ten times scarier,” explained Rubino.

When the bombs went off, Rubino was not very far from the second blast. “Being there on Boylston Street when the bombings happened, we froze, as did everyone. Nobody knew what it was at first,” she described.

Rubino commended the Boston Police Department for their reaction as the events unfolded. “It kind of separates a common person from a first responder. When the second bomb went off, they ran right to the finish line,” she said.

When it comes to the Boston Marathon now, Rubino does not hold fearful thoughts towards the run. “I actually have a really close friend running tomorrow with his fiancé. Don’t let the bad and the evil in this country stop you. We can’t let it dictate how we run our lives,” she stated.

Rubino’s thoughts were echoed by Flags 4 Fallen representative, Michael Newhouse, who has been running for almost eight years. “Running also, more than anything, is a healing thing. It gets your mind and your body in one,” described Newhouse.

Three people passed in the bombing, as well as one police officer going after the suspects. Flags 4 Fallen is a group of runners across the country that honors the lives of those lost, turning their fast-paced hobby into positivity. Newhouse often runs for veterans and those who have passed too soon. “We let the families know that a complete stranger cares about them. We celebrate their lost one’s life,” said Newhouse.

Newhouse hopes to one day compete in the Boston Marathon, and holds respect for those running on Monday. “Tomorrow there will be 30,000 happy runners getting ready to go. I wish them all well, I really do,” explained Newhouse.