NEWBURYPORT – Every weekend, Cate Seely drives down to the Boston Marathon course to train, and while she often finds herself on Boylston Street near the finish line, she never crosses it.
“If you cross the Boston Marathon finish before actually finishing, it’s bad luck,” Seely said.
Seely, who is 28 years old and grew up in Newburyport, was five miles away from the finish line when the bombs went off during last year’s race. She was ultimately stopped at a medical tent in Newton and was among more than 5,000 runners granted a waiver to compete in this year’s race.
Now running the marathon for the third time, Seely is back to finish what she started.
“I still haven’t finished that race,” she said. “So I will finish it in about  days.”
Like many who grow up in the area, Seely has a deep connection with the marathon. When she was young, her family frequently went into Boston on Marathon Monday to cheer on the runners on near the finish line. She said that she loved the festivities, the fact that everyone got the day off from work or school, that the Red Sox would play in the morning and how the weather was usually beautiful.
As she got older, she began to interact with more people who actually ran the marathon, the first being her Spanish teacher at the Rupert A. Nock Middle School.
“Before then I didn’t know anybody who’d run it before, and I thought that was the craziest thing that she ran for fun,” Seely said.
Seely got into running herself about six years ago, initially as a way to slim down for a wedding and eventually to help raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Several members of Seely’s family have battled the two diseases, and in 2011 she decided to take the plunge and run the Boston Marathon in support of the charity.