Why they'll run

"That didn't fit my definition of OK,'' Dello Russo said.

Roseann was their ringleader and Sabrina's personal cheerleader. Every race they did together, Roseann finished before her and waited to greet her with a high five and the same encouraging words: "You did good.''

It has been a long year for Roseann Sdoia. She has good days and bad days, but has managed to handle her handicap with humor, penning her prosthetic "the sucker.'' She lives on the second floor of a North End walk-up, which was never a big deal before, but in the aftermath of her traumatic injury became a challenge.

Sabrina Dello Russo has recovered physically from her head injury, but the nightmares persist.

Last week, she dreamed she was looking out her office window and saw a billowing plume of smoke. She frantically urged co-workers to get out. They ignored her.

"None of them saw what I saw,'' Sabrina said.

Sabrina Dello Russo will run the 2014 Boston Marthon on Monday. So will her friends Megan Lawrence and Jen Amstead, who was stopped 30 feet from the finish line last year.

Roseann isn't sure if she can bring herself to go.

"She'll wake up on Marathon Monday and say, 'You know what? I'm going to get on a plane and go somewhere,''' Sabrina said. "Or, she'll say, 'I'm going to Forum.'"

Training for the marathon has been the most grueling commitment of Sabrina Dello Russo's life. She is 38 years old (though she looks 10 years younger) and has never been this focused or this determined.

"I'm running because I made a pact with my friend that we would do this,'' Sabrina said. "She won't actually be with me on Monday -- but she will be.

"She doesn't like to talk about our training and how hard it is or how fun it is, because she can't be a part of it. But I know in my heart she will be thinking of me.''

Sabrina knows Roseann will be tracking her, on the day that used to be their favorite of the year.

Whether it's in person or by text, she will wait for a simple message from the woman she will honor on Marathon Monday: You did good.


Katie Pratt, running to find peace

Katie Pratt couldn't decide.

Should she watch the 2013 Boston Marathon in her hometown of Wellesley where, as a little girl, she frolicked up and down Washington Street applauding the runners? She had been invited to join friends at Kenmore Square, as well as a group that was congregating for a fundraiser at The Forum on Boylston Street.

"At the last minute I figured, 'Oh, I'll buy a ticket for The Forum,''' Pratt said.

It would be a fun and exciting change to watch from the finish line, she figured.

Pratt was lounging on the Forum patio when her head was turned by a thunderous boom.

"I thought one of the huge speakers at the finish line had blown,'' Pratt said.

She was mistaken. A bomb had gone off, and within seconds a second one exploded 10 feet away from her, ripping her shoes and sunglasses from her body.

The details of what happened next are hazy. Pratt suffered a concussion and isn't clear on how she escaped serious injury, save for a deep cut in her foot and some permanent hearing loss. She simply cannot remember many details, although she later caught a glimpse of the carnage in a television news clip.

"They showed the footage in front of the Forum,'' Pratt said. "When the bomb went off, and all these people went flying, my dad said, 'Isn't that you?'''

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