Heartbreak Hill symbolic for RI family
Last year, she crossed the finish line eight minutes before the first bomb went off. Her boyfriend, David Favicchio and his family were waiting for her on Boylston Street.
"She got a burst of energy on Heartbreak Hill and it was because of that burst of energy that we're here today. Because we would have been there waiting for her," said Donna Favicchio.
For her biggest fans, this year they had to be at the spot where Ashley's pace increased allowing her to beat the bombs.
"That was very special. We're happy that she's doing well and hopefully better memories than last year," said David Favicchio.
A record-number of runners competed in the marathon this year. Many of them were running because of the bombings last year.
"It's very special to me because my husband's running his first marathon. It's obviously Boston Strong. I couldn't have asked for a better day. He's so excited and so happy," said Erin D'Amadio of Planville, Mass.
"Everybody is excited. There's a larger crowd out here this year. They came out earlier this year than in prior years, I think obviously because of what happened," said Tom Morrisson of Newton, Mass.
The excitement didn't dissipate. Millions were making sure that the marathon on Monday was the best one ever.
"Great group of people. The music's playing. Everyone's here. Boston Strong baby!" said Stacey Chisolm, of Raynham, Mass.