Melissa Stearns said she was amazed by the support of the entire city of Boston while running last year's race. She says, "The town runs that race. There's cheering every inch of the way." She crossed the finish line in 3:54, number 312 out of 551 for her age group. She was excited to finish, but exhausted. She says 14 minutes after she finished, she heard the first bomb go off. She thought it may have been a cannon, but quickly realized there had been a bombing. Three people died, and hundreds were injured. This year, Stearns is determined to run again. She said, "I have to go back and support Boston and the runners. I'm going to cry this year. I'll have to carry kleenex with me."
Stearns is on the Board of Directors for Butte County's 'Girls on the Run.'
She hopes the young runners in the group will be inspired by the events that have unfolded in Boston, and will run the world's most famous marathon in the future.