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Marathon spectators, grappling with swirl of emotions, weigh whether to attend race this year

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

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As police prepare for record crowds along the route, spectators are confronting a swirl of emotions as they weigh whether to return to the race — fear, both specific and general, a rush of painful memories from the bombings, and a deep sadness over so much loss.

Many say they are undaunted by the bombings and feel compelled to be part of the race’s defiant return. But even some longtime fans confess they are wary, despite the promise of tighter security.

Casey Carey-Brown, who for many years watched from the finish line, said she is torn over whether to bring her 4-year-old daughter.

“I’m mostly afraid of being afraid,” said Carey-Brown, a 35-year-old from Jamaica Plain.

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