After Superstorm Sandy forced the shutdown of the ING New York City Marathon in 2012, runners said they were anxious to get back to the starting line this year, but no one expected that a terror attack in another city would be on their minds.
The Boston Marathon bombings in April killed three spectators and injured more than 200 other participants who were near the finish line.
New York marathoners, especially those who were in the Boston race, say not they're not scared to hit the street, and are ready to show the world their resiliency.
"What they did had changed nothing for running for me," said David Parkinson, 28, of midtown, who ran in the Boston marathon and will be taking part in the New York race Sunday. "For folks who live here, this is our marathon."
The New York Road Runners Club will give out blue ribbons to the more than 45,000 participants to show their support for the victims. Teresa Girolamo, 27, a Brooklyn teacher who also ran the Boston marathon, said the large number of participants is the ultimate show of solidarity.
"Marathoners are the wrong group to attack," she said.
Girolamo, who is running in the New York City Marathon for the first time, said she isn't worried about any potential dangers during the 26.2-mile length.
"There have been a lot more steps and protocols so I have a lot of faith," she said.
For some runners, finishing the race would be a personal victory that's been a year in limbo.
About one-third of this year's participants are rwere registered to run last year, according to the Road Runners. Ellen Wernecke, 29, a former Brooklynite who moved to Chicago over the summer, said she was crushed when the city canceled the race at the eleventh hour last year, not only because it was going to be her first marathon but also because it ruined the months of training she had to endure.
Wernecke, who is an active long-distance runner but hasn't run a full marathon, said there was no question she had to return to the Big Apple to meet her goal.
"It's a world-class race and in the end of the day I didn't want to do my first marathon in any other city," she said.
Racers who are in the race for charitable causes said they too are ready to run. Susan Rappaport, 50, owner of NuYu Revolution fitness center, said she and two other women are running to raise money for Girls on the Run, a nonprofit that helps to build self esteem with young girls, and they want to make sure the charity gets its rewards.
"I think it would be earth shattering for the women who trained with me," she said.