PHOENIX -- A Flagstaff man finished seventh out of the more than 32,000 who ran the 2014 Boston Marathon.
"A lot of my competitors, we came out here as Americans, hoping to get an American to win this race, this year in particular," runner Nick Arcinicaga told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR's Rob & Karie. "That was one of our biggest goals and biggest dreams to do."
A dream that came true as American emigrant Meb Keflezighi won the race in 2:08:37, becoming the first American to win in 31 years.
In addition to his astounding seventh place finish, Arciniaga was also the second American to cross the finish line with a time of 2:11:47, a time that Arciniaga may have the crowd to thank.
"This year in particular, there was two to three times as many people...just huge crowds, deafening crowds, as I'm running through," Arciniaga said. "We're running a marathon, so we're trying not to go too hard and going through these thick crowds and all this energy -- it makes you go faster."
This year's Boston Marathon was Arciniaga's third time running the iconic course. He did not run it last year, but he knew he could not miss it this year.
"Ever since April 15 when the bombs went off, I knew in the back of my mind this is where I needed to be, where I wanted to be this year...to show the terrorists that they can't win," he explained.
In addition to heightened security and bag checks, Arciniaga also said that the entire 26.2-mile course was lined with barricades.
"Usually, the fans are allowed to stand on the sidewalk or on the curb...you can high five them and cheer with them," he said. "But this year, there [was] fencing lining the entire way."
But Arciniaga insists he wasn't worried about another terror attack.
"I thought about last year as more of an inspiration," he said.