Mt. Holyoke College student returning to the Boston Marathon

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Last year, 22News talked to Ella Pittman, a few days after the Boston Marathon bombing, at an emotional vigil held by Mount Holyoke College.

Thursday, 22News went back to the school to talk to Ella again. She will be heading out to Boston Friday to get ready for her second Boston Marathon.

“My first thought was terrorist attack, and I’ve got to call my parents and tell them I’m okay,” she said. Ella Pittman didn’t have any time to celebrate after running her very first marathon.

2013 was Ella’s first attempt at running 26.2 miles; she finished the race in just under 4 hours. She crossed the Boylston Street finish line minutes before the bombs went off.

“I remember those last 5 miles hurting like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and the blue arches come into sigh, and it’s like, I’m really going to do this, I actually am going to finish the Boston Marathon. That’s the last thing I remember before the bombs went off,” said Ella.

Ella was about 50 feet from the finish line when two bombs exploded. A shocking end to her first race from Hopkinton to Boston.

“The thing about runners is when the heart’s heavy, your legs are still strong, and your legs are going to keep propelling you forward. And that was something that really kind of helped me start putting my life back together,” she said.

This year, she will be returning to Boston to run her second marathon with the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation. Ella said she’s been preparing both physically and mentally for the race.

“I had my fair share of jumping out of the way of snow plows,” said Ella. “It’s definitely going to be a very emotional moment, but am I kind of scared of bad flashbacks? You know… I was, I was lucky enough that I didn’t see any of the real damage, other than smoke and fire, so I think, I think I’ll be okay in that sense.”

On Monday Ella will be one of about 36,000 runners who will continue the Patriot’s Day tradition, with nearly one million people watching and cheering for them.

Watch the video above to Ella’s entire interview with 22News reporter Yoojin Cho, and you can also view Yoojin Cho’s Live Report below:

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