Last year she was left traumatised from the devastating aftermath of the Boston Marathon explosions.
But determined to put the terror of 2013 behind her, Nicola Nuttall has bravely returned to the scene of the attack to take part in this year’s 26-mile challenge.
The accomplished Barrowford runner. who is captain of the Trawden AC ladies team, described the mix of defiance and nostalgia coming from participants and the crowds, as well as her euphoria at crossing the finish line. She completed the trek on Monday in three hours and 35 minutes.
Mum-of-two Mrs Nuttall (44), who had been unable to take part in last year’s event due to a prolapsed disc, said: “Obviously my own personal disappointment paled into insignificance after the bomb attack and I was even more determined to come back and run as a show of solidarity with the people of Boston.
“The atmosphere was amazing, there were reported to be a million supporters lining the streets during the race and 10,000 volunteers.
“Last year’s events were in everyone’s minds, and there was two minutes silence before the race to honour those affected by the bombs. People who had lost limbs in the explosion actually completed parts of the marathon, taking to the streets on prosthetic blades.
“Before the day of the race, with hundreds of others, we visited the finish area that had essentially been a murder scene 12 months ago. But there was a real feeling of strength and solidarity - the city was not going to let the terrorists win and the marathon coming back was a real symbol of that resilience.
“So many people, especially on the course, were wearing T-shirts that said ‘Boston Strong’ and that was definitely how they felt about their city.”
Mrs Nuttall, who runs Nelson’s children’s play centre Giddy Kippers with her husband Mark, was in a city centre hotel with her daughter Laura and sister-in-law Leo Anson when bombs ripped through crowds on Boylston Street last year, killing three people and injuring 260.
Despite undergoing major surgery last May, she has always remained hopeful of returning to Boston again, to put the memories of the blasts behind her.
She will also be running the Bupa Great Manchester Run, the Liverpool Half Marathon, and a variety of Burnley and Pendle events this year.