Newport's Heather Abbott returns to Boston Marathon
Newport native Heather Abbott came full circle Monday.
She came back to the Boston Marathon a year after she was seriously injured when a bomb went off last year.
"I definitely wanted to be here today," Abbott told NBC 10 News.
Abbott returned to The Forum, a restaurant and bar near the marathon finish line.
"It's great. This is what marathon Monday is supposed to be. I'm glad that people came and it's bigger than ever. I'm really excited about today," Abbott said.
A year ago she lost her leg as a result of the second bomb that went off feet from where she was standing, about to walk into the Forum.
On Monday, she was with family and friends, some of whom were with her last year when she was wounded.
"She continues to inspire and persevere. There's nothing she can't do," said Natasha Dickinson, a friend.
"We all wanted to be here. Nothing was going to stop us. It's a new day, a new beginning, and Heather Strong," said Jessica Dimascolo, a friend.
This year, the atmosphere was joyous as Abbott prepared to run the last half-mile of the marathon with a new friend, Erin Chatham, who along with her husband helped Abbott in her time of need a year ago.
Abbott's practiced the run for a while.
"It's definitely a physical thing, just being able to do it. I think, for me, it's going to mean so much to cross that finish line with Erin, considering how far we've come since we met last year," Abbott said.
And she's feeding off the energy from her loved ones who will be cheering her on.
"It's great. I think that's probably going to help me get to the finish line because even though a half-mile doesn't sound very long, it's long for me," Abbott said.
Abbot said it's been an emotional week, from the tribute on the first anniversary of the bombings last week, to meeting with other survivors, and to Monday's marathon.