TRAVERSE CITY — Gary Lake was about 1.3 miles shy of completing what he thought was his final Boston Marathon.
The now-67-year-old runner then had that shy dashed.
Now, he'll be able to complete it.
Lake was in a group of runners who was taken off the course after explosions rocked last year's Boston Marathon finish line. He said event organizers offered him — as well as the others who didn't finish — an entry in next year's race.
The journey of Lake and a handful of other Traverse City-area runners who ran in the marathon is No. 10 in the Record-Eagle's top 10 sports stories of 2013.
Coincidentally, Lake's training just started. He said he's on a four-month training regimen, which began Dec. 14, for this year's April 14 Boston Marathon.
"I'm all excited for it," said Honor resident Lake. "The Boston police do an extraordinary job on the entire marathon course. The police officers are like fence posts. Everywhere you look, their presence is very, very obvious. It's very comforting to know this is a big event for the city of Boston as well as the world. To see the police presence, it tells you how big it is to Boston."
It took Lake 35 marathons before he a ran a time that qualified him for Boston. He also planned to make this one extra special by turning it into a week-long vacation with his wife.
"As I'm nearing the finish line of the marathon, many years of training and racing come into review," Lake said. "You're out on that course a long time. ... I was preparing in my mind that this was my last Boston Marathon. Here's a dream that's come true. My wife is here to experience my having run the Boston Marathon."