Boston Strong: Sanger Man Returning to Marathon One Year Later

A Sanger man says he's not caving into the fear of another possible terror attack at this year's Boston Marathon.

So, he's getting ready to run in the event again.

{}"Runners don't quit. We're the toughest people out there," says Phillip Gonzalez.

He says he never imagined a year ago that finishing the 26.2 mile race would be easy, compared to surviving the overall experience.

"I heard the bomb and everything, screams, yells, blood," he says.

The 50-year-old left to run the marathon with his brother-in-law and former Fresno City Councilman Brad Castillo.

"They treated us like royalty. We wore this [marathon] shirt or jacket, they came around and hovered around you," Gonzalez says. "You're thinking, 'Wow, this is it! We're here! We're here!'"

And the rock star treatment continued as they hit the road for the run.

Gonzalez averages a 7:45 mile, but keeping track of time took a back seat, to taking in the surroundings. "I stopped a lot and shook hands with kids. It was an experience," he says.

Just over three hours later, Gonzalez finished.

He was cramping and was being treated by medics.

He went around the corner from the finish line for more treatment, and for some snacks, when he heard what, "sounded like a canon like they do at football game, 'Boom!'

"Ambulance, after ambulance after ambulance came through our area to get up front. There had to be 70," Gonzalez says. "I saw some people coming out of there with blood stains all over their shirts."

And it's those who were hurt, that Gonzalez is running for this time around.

"We run 26 point 2 miles. We're resilient. We don't stop," he says. "Nobody can stop a runner. No terror attack, no bombs."

Gonzalez qualified to run in the 2014 Boston Marathon.

He tells us Castillo received an automatic invite, because he did not finish last year's run. He was half a mile out from the finish line when the bombs exploded.

The two will leave over the weekend.

A sendoff is planned for local runners Wednesday morning in North Fresno.