EDISON - Many New Jersey runners who competed in the Boston Marathon last year are going back again this year.

Mona Jha, of Montclair, says she was struggling toward the finish line when the first explosion went off. She says she had run slower than usual and that if she had been running any faster, she would have likely been at the finish line when the bombs exploded.

Another Montclair resident and Boston Marathon runner, Paul Giuiliano, experienced a similar twist of fate. In Giuliano's case, he ran fast that day and finished an hour ahead of the explosion.

Jha and Giuiliano have run in more than a dozen Boston Marathons combined. They say it is important for them to return this year so that the bombing does not become a cloud hanging over the marathon.