JMH employee ready to run Boston Marathon - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

JMH employee ready to run Boston Marathon

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James Buchanan surrounded by his co-workers James Buchanan surrounded by his co-workers

MIAMI (WSVN) -- As security preps continue ahead of Monday's Boston Marathon, a South Florida physical therapist is honoring last year's Boston bombing victims the best way he knows how: by competing in this year's event.

James Buchanan has an office of supporters behind him. His fellow employees at Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital showed their support by throwing him a surprise party with a 7News media crew to document it all.

Buchanan, a physical therapist at Jackson Rehab, said he is very excited about running in the Boston Marathon Monday. "As a dedicated runner, I always saw myself one day doing Boston," said Buchanan.

His co-workers threw him a surprise party to wish him well. He said, "They just surprised me with a party here and got a cake for me and T-shirts made to show their love and support on my journey over that 26.2 mile course."

It's a bittersweet moment for Buchanan, because he tried out for last year's race but did not qualify. "Last year, I hit that mark of 254, which is about 10 minutes longer of the Boston qualifying mark. It even makes it even more special for running on a year that means so much in the City of Boston and the nation that we live. It's just going to motivate all 36,000 of us, as we travel on that journey, 26.2 miles to that finish line on Boylston Street."

Rhona Sullivan, one of his colleagues, said, "We feel bad for everybody who was, of course, involved, but we're so grateful that him and his fiancé's family, they would have all been there at the finish line, waiting for him, so we feel especially blessed that he's qualified this year, and that as bad as he felt about not qualifying last year, we are, so this year we are so moved about the fact that he's going to be running."

Buchanan is not just running for himself. He said he is running for the Boston Marathon bombing victims who died and for those who lost limbs. He says he will be thinking of them every step of the way, especially as he crosses the finish line. "With the victims and survivors in our hearts, on our minds, hopefully that could push us. I know it will push me to keep going further and further, even though we're fatigued at mile 18, mile 20, you know, I'll personally do it as a tribute to them, and all they've been through."

Buchanan said he's confident in the security measures and feels safe taking part in this year's race.

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