COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

The Boston bombings rocked the running community and the city of Boston. On April 15, 2013, three people were killed and more than 200 injured at the Boston Marathon. On Monday (4/21/14), there were mixed emotions as runners crossed the finish line.

This year’s marathon was unlike any other. A Colorado Springs runner says people weren’t so worried about their time. They were watching each other cross the finish line, supporting a community that has come a long way in one year.

"Every single one of them was incredibly enthusiastic. It was a really surreal experience,” said Colorado Springs racer Jason Koop.

Koop was one of the more than 36,000 runners that laced up in Boston.

"You could tell just from everybody watching that it was just a really meaningful marathon for them to have, put everything what happened last year behind,” he said.

A year ago, tragedy struck the race as the third wave of runners approached the finish line. Investigators learned terrorists had planted two pressure-cooker bombs along the sidewalks. Three people were killed 264 were hurt.

“I would’ve loved to have been there today,” said Steve Bremner.

Bremner didn’t qualify for this year’s marathon, but he crossed the finish line last year 45 minutes before the bombings.

"I want to run Boston every year for the rest of my life because you just feel like you just want to come back and show the world that Boston's back and the Boston Marathon is running strong,” he said.

Those two words, Boston Strong, echoed over and over during Monday’s race.

"I probably heard that 500,000 times throughout the course of the 26.2 miles,” said Koop.

Koop and other runners said Boston is bouncing back.

"Everybody lined the streets was just so incredibly invested in the race and the people running the race. It truly is their marathon,” said Koop.

It was third time is the charm for some runners who ran in 2012. They couldn’t finish because of the heat. Then, last year the bombings stopped the last round of racers from reaching the finish line. Colorado Springs runner Cindy Heritage, 58, said it was a very emotional, amazing race. She also said the runners and spectators united like a community.