Misti Walls, a registered nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, was only half a block away when the bombs went off at last year’s Boston Marathon. This past Monday, she proved herself #BostonStrong, springing back into action and completing her fourth Boston Marathon in just three hours and forty minutes.

“You always say ‘my only goal is to finish,’” says Misti. “But in the back of your mind, you have your own goals.”

Misti has been running for seven years and has completed 19 marathons. She says, “Every marathon is a struggle at some point but knowing that the will to finish is stronger than the will to quit is what marathons are all about.”

With as many as 36,000 runners in this year’s race, a dramatic increase from the usual 28,000, she had difficulty breaking away from the pack and then hit a “wall” at mile 22. However, the overwhelming support from approximately one million spectators pushed her on.

The night before the marathon, Misti went to Fenway Park where they held a ceremony prior to the Red Sox-Oriole’s game for the victims of last year’s bombing. Survivors, rescue personnel, police, doctors and nurses received recognition on the field for their bravery and teamwork.

Misti’s marathon-running days are far from over and she plans to run her annual 50-miler this November, as well as many other marathons. However, being a part of this year’s Boston Marathon will always be special to her.

“The biggest thing was all of the support. There were so many strangers coming together. There was so much support for Boston. There was so much support for our nation.”