For a certain breed to run is to live.
"I like both the solidarity of running and also the camaraderie of running," Allentown's Allison Fiorini said.
"I got into it as an outlet. I fell in love with it," Kari Braido explained.
But at 2:49 p.m., April 15, 2013, the world of American running changed forever.
"The noise. You can't mistake that noise. Smell of gunpowder," Bart Yasso remembered of the bomb that exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line.
"You could almost feel it in the ground," Braido said.
"Seeing paramedics run to the scene, seeing confused runners not knowing what to do," Yasso went on to say.
Runner's World chief running officer and Center Valley resident Yasso was working near the Boston Marathon finish line when the two bombs exploded, killing three and injuring more than 250.
"I was kind of lucky behind a protected wall and not in harm's way," he said.
Braido of Macungie was there too, crossing the finish line just 25 minutes before the explosions.
"It was really one of those moments where you just couldn't believe what you were hearing," she said.
For Fiorini, it was a much different finish line experience.
"It's like a sea of blue and yellow and all you see is people everywhere, you can see the finish line. The sense of pride that is there. The spirit the city brings. Everybody is out, it doesn't matter where you are from," she explained.
It's that pride, pageantry and strong sense of community that are bringing all three and fellow runner Mark Hanna back to Boston this year.
"I want to be there for the people who can't be there anymore. For the people who lost their lives," Braido went on to say.
"To me it's the most prestigious finish line in all of running," Yasso added.
Allentown, PA 18102