by: Ken Lemon Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A Charlotte man told Channel 9 he still gets goosebumps when he thinks back to the days bombs erupted at the finish line of the Boston Marathon last year.
Mike Mitchell had just returned to his hotel after completing the marathon when he heard the explosions.
Mitchell has been a long-distance runner for 17 years.
He has never been as determined to run as he is now.
He will return to run the Boston Marathon on Monday.
"There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to come back,” Mitchell said.
Last year, the Charlotte insurance adjuster completed a lifelong dream when he ran in the marathon.
He planned to celebrate in Boston with friends, but two hours after he crossed the finish line, two bombs exploded.
"There were so many different emotions running through your mind. It was kind of hard to celebrate,” Mitchell said.
He was in his hotel when the city was shut down to search for the bombers and he later learned the stories of those killed and the ones who just escaped.
"I get goosebumps any time I hear victim speak or a family member speak. It just tugs at your heart,” he said.
Mitchell had only planned to run the marathon once as a personal goal. Saturday, he will fly back to Boston to run with a greater purpose.
"(It will) really show that the United States, the whole running community can prevail and move on and show that we are stronger than others might have thought we were,” he said.
He knows there will be a point Monday during the 26-mile run when it will be hard to continue.
"When I'm feeling sorry for myself, feeling like I can't go another step, (I will) just remember the family and the victims that were affected by last year's events and I think it will be pretty easy for me to move past,” he said.