PEORIA, Ill. -- Jeff Neltner was almost at last year's Boston Marathon until scheduling conflicts kept him out.
Now he's heading back to compete for his third time, this year more determined than ever.
It's an opportunity to us to prove that you know it doesn't stop that type of event," said Neltner.
Last year's bombing incident killed three people and injured of 250.
As a result security measures are heightened.
Neither runners nor spectators will not be allowed to carry bags unless they are clear.
"No bags on the bus whatsoever," said Neltner. "So whatever we wear to the start of the race is going to be disposed and donated to charitable organizations."
Neltner said he doesn't think the extra security will take away from the experience of the event.
"You just adapt," said Neltner. "We are used to adapting and we can adapt to it."
"It's going to be an emotional experience, one I'm sure I'll never forget," said Ansel Wachter.
Wachter will be competing in his first Boston Marathon.
The Peoria Height's native qualified just one month after the bombings.
He Said he wanted to compete in part to honor those affected in the bombing.
"I hope that again we can just show that we can't live in fear," said Wachter. Even though there are people out there that want to cause harm to others and strike fear, we can't succumb to that."
For Wachter four words sum up this years race.
"We wont be defeated," he said. "I think a marathon is a good example of that. It's a very tough challenge and to overcome that in light of those events I think is going to be something truly inspiring and beautiful."