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Denna Laing Excited For First Boston Marathon: 'It's Going To Be A Crazy Experience'

BOSTON (CBS) -- Gearing up for the Boston Marathon is no easy business.

While working hard is nothing new for former women's hockey star Denna Laing, training for the Boston Marathon is uncharted territory.

"I've been a hockey player forever," Laing recently told WBZ-TV. "I've never been a long distance runner. I liked sprints more."

But now Laing is in a wheelchair, following a terrible accident on the ice at the Women's Winter Classic just over a year ago. Hockey and sprinting aren't in the cards right now, but the Boston Marathon suddenly is. She knows this is "Bucket List" stuff.

"It's not even being an athlete my whole life; it's being a Boston girl my whole life," she explained. "I've watched it in person and on TV, but I've never been a part of it. So I think it's going to be a crazy experience."

Taking her on that experience is another hockey star. Former NHL player Bobby Carpenter has teamed up with Laing to form a hockey dream team. Carpenter hatched the idea after running last year's Boston Marathon, this time around wanting a partner during the race.

Denna Laing
Bobby Carpenter and Denna Laing on training run in Florida (WBZ-TV)

"I was so impressed with the people pushing the chairs and the blind people and people pushing chairs, and said if I ever do it again, that's what I want to do," said Carpenter, a native of Beverly who enjoyed an 18-year NHL career, including a four-year stint with the Bruins.

Carpenter and Laing are teaming up for Journey Forward, a center for people with spinal cord injuries located in Canton. It's the place that Laing credits for pushing her towards a more mobile and independent future.

"I've just been an athlete my whole life. You face injuries, ups and downs. There have been so many people supporting me, it's easy to keep going and easy to try to reach new heights when everyone is cheering you on."

The duo forms a perfect match. While Carpenter will move them across the finish line, Laing will make sure they make it.

"My game plan is to support him as he is running," he said. "If he wants me to talk or to sing a song, whatever Bobby needs me to do -- I'm going to be there for him."

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