ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. (WCCO) — It’s the dream of thousands of runners: To qualify and finish the Boston Marathon.

Last year that dream was cut short for many, after terrorists set off two bombs near the finish line. Elinor Scott of St. Louis Park was about three-quarters of a mile away from completing a life goal when the bombs went off.

She never crossed the finish line, and Elinor’s dream now faces another road block. Last month, the 50-year-old mother of four children was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer.

“I just got hooked and I knew I would keep doing marathons. I mean I thought I would always be doing them,” said Scott.

When Scott ran into health issues five years ago, she decided to hit the ground running. And in so many ways running has become her religion.

“It’s provided me community, health, happiness, all the things you get from something like church,” said Scott.

Since she started, Elinor’s goal has been to finish the Boston Marathon. Last April, she came close.

“It was just great. It was the dream I had had to run the Boston Marathon,” said Elinor.

With just three-quarters of a mile to the finish line, the unthinkable happened. Two explosions. The first went off in the very spot where Elinor’s daughter, Martha, had been minutes before.

“I was just kind of shocked that something like this could happen at such an event of such joy and happiness and dreams coming true for my mom,” said Elinor’s daughter, Martha Sutter.

In the aftermath, 264 people were injured and three died. Elinor got a text from Martha letting her know she was okay. And while her thoughts and prayers were with those hurt, later her own pain would be knowing just how close she had come to finishing.

“I was disappointed on a personal level, because I didn’t know if I would have it in me to qualify again,” Scott said.

That’s because Scott may now be racing against time. She qualified for Boston again this year, but last month she was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer.

“They tell you what they’re going to tell you about stage IV cancer, they don’t really offer you any promises,” said Scott.

She hasn’t been able to train, but her goal hasn’t changed. Elinor wants to go to Boston and finish the final three-quarters of a mile she missed last year, and she wants her daughter with her every step of the way.

“I’m very proud of my mom through everything she’s been through, everything she’s overcome,” said Martha.

“Right now I’m just very focused on seeing what kind of life, any life, I can have on the other side of this journey. Because I just want to live. If I can run slow, that will be fine with me,” said Scott.

Elinor wants to thank family and friends for their support, especially her friend and running partner Ken Rosen. She’s seeking experimental treatment to help her battle her cancer.

John Lauritsen