SCOTTSDALE, AZ - A valley man is packing his running shoes and his bags to compete in this year's Boston Marathon, one year after two bombs exploded near the finish line.
Jeff Mastro wasn't far from the finish line when he heard two bombs go off.
But luckily, he had already finished the race just 30 minutes earlier.
It was the first time the Valley restaurant owner qualified for the Boston Marathon. He is the CEO of Dominick's Steakhouse and Steak 44.
“I love running, I picked it up six years ago,” he said.
Mastro made it across the finish line in three hours and 40 minutes.
But after the explosions, his joy quickly turned to shock. And he focused on finding his family.
“I've done a lot of marathons, and a lot of times they're right at the finish line waiting for me, cheering me on. So anything could've happened,” he said.
Thankfully, everyone was OK, but Mastro’s heart drops when he thinks of what could have happened.
“They walked by there about 10 minutes before the bombs went off. So it was pretty scary,” he said.
But everything that happened is not stopping him from going back. He expects it to be even more emotional than before.
“I wanted to go back just to see all that, and to pay tribute to the people that did get injured. The lives that were lost, I just really want to be part of that,” Mastro said.
He says the last steps will be even harder than usual.
Thousands of runners like him will run right by where the bombs went off.
“This is what America is all about. You know, World Trade Centers go down, we just build them taller. Bombs go off at a marathon, and we just have more people go back and more people run it. So that's the American spirit and I love it,” Mastro said.