Erika Brannock, the Towson preschool teacher who lost most of her left leg after being injured in the bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon, will be the official starter for the Baltimore Running Festival on Saturday. It will be the first organized race Brannock has attended since Boston, where the 29-year-old was cheering on her mother.

Brannock told the Baltimore Sun that she hopes her opening remarks will help inspire the runners on their 26.2-mile runs: “I hope to start the race out in an emotional way, and give a little extra push that, while they’re running, they can think ‘Erika inspired me to keep on going.’” Despite everything she’s been through, Brannock said she’s excited to give back to the Baltimore community that supported her in her recovery. 

Speaking about her feelings being at an organized race, she said she doesn’t “ever want to be scared to go back and be near the finish line.”  And she means it. She already has plans to attend the Boston marathon next year.