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Orlando man set to race in Boston Marathon after witnessing bombings last year

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ORLANDO, Fla. - A record crowd and a record number of runners are expected to show up for Monday's Boston Marathon.

The average number is 26,000, but a year after the bombings, 36,000 have registered.

A large number of local runners have signed up for the race.

Of the 870 runners from Florida that will take to the course, more than 150 are from central Florida, including Terry Smith of Orlando.

Smith ran last year and said there’s not a day that goes by that he doesn’t think about his experience on Boylston Street one year ago.

Fifteen minutes is all that separated Smith from the two explosions at the finish line of last year’s Boston Marathon.

“I was still in line getting my stuff, and when the explosion happened, of course, everyone was sort of in denial about what happened. We turned around and saw the smoke coming up and my first thought was my wife,” Smith said.

Jean Smith spent that Patriot’s Day watching runners cross the finish line from the bleachers, directly across where the first bomb detonated.

Jean Smith had left the bleachers to find Terry Smith, five minutes before that first bomb exploded.

Terry Smith said he still flashes back to that day, but wants to run in the marathon this year as a sign of support.

“Last year’s events were, needless to say, horrific. We want to honor those people, but we want to honor them by showing our strength,” he said.

Terry Smith will wear a hat on Monday, signed by friends and family who couldn’t run in the race, but still wanted to honor those who were injured or died in last year’s attack.

He has arrived safely to Boston and has picked up his runner’s packet for Monday.