- Associated Press - Saturday, April 19, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Last year’s Boston Marathon was supposed to be Chuck Allen’s second and final.

But then registration day came.

“I just knew I had to go back to prove that we’re not afraid,” Allen told the Associated Press on Friday as he was preparing to leave for Boston.

Allen, of Bismarck, is among about 20 North Dakotans registered to run again in Boston on Monday, a year after two bombs exploded at the finish line, killing three and wounding more than 260. There are 43 people registered from the state overall.

While Allen was inspired to return by the events he witnessed firsthand, others in the state who are heading east say they’re motivated by what they saw from home last year.

Josh Askvig, a city commissioner in Bismarck, ran his first marathon in Fargo two weeks after last year’s Boston Marathon.

Askvig said the bombings were still very fresh in his mind and drove him to run harder in Fargo so he could make it to Boston this year.

And now, less than a year later, he’s qualified, along with an estimated 37,000 other runners from around the world.

“I wanted to be a part of the group that comes back and says, ‘We’re not going to let that scare us, we’re not going to let fear overtake us.’”

Although some are returning to Boston this year, there are those staying home too.

Julie Jeske, also of Bismarck, finished the Boston Marathon last year nine minutes before the bombs went off. Luckily, she was about a block from the explosions, getting food and a blanket.

“You couldn’t help but hear it and feel it from where I was at,” she said.

Jeske won’t be going back to Boston this year but said it’s not out of fear - she ran the New York Marathon in the fall.

She said she had a feeling before running last year that it would probably be her last time running in Boston. She said with the worry the bombings caused her family, it was right the decision to stay in Bismarck this year.

“I knew I was safe, but my family had no idea I was safe,” she said.