On Monday, a week after the horrific Boston Marathon tragedy, runners across the country will honor the victims and show their community’s strength in the best way they can—running.
The event, “#BostonStrong,” was conceived just yesterday by Brian Kelley, the San Francisco run blogger behind Pavement Runner. Kelley decided to organize a group run in his city’s Crissy Field, and in a post, he invited runners in other cities to join him. Runs in places like Orlando, Utah, and New York immediately began to spring up on Wednesday.
“This is how the running community has always dealt with tragedy—we just get together and run together in solidarity,” says Abby Bales, the blogger behind Run Stronger Every Day, who is organizing the New York event. “Other people have candlelight vigils, we run.”
That’s extra essential for runners in the case of this tragedy. While it has has touched the entire country, runners have been affected in an especially traumatic way, making them emotionally distraught for the fate of others in their community and fearful about future races. “It still feels like someone walked into my home and attacked my family, even though I wasn’t home,” Bales explains.
She’s inviting runners to meet on Monday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m. in Central Park at Tavern on the Green, and is encouraging participants to wear the Boston Marathon colors, blue and yellow. It will be an informal run with no set distance—the group will simply congregate and take off together, sending love and energy to Boston, and supporting each other in presence and stride.
They’ll need to draw on that strength in the coming months, as more details related to the bombings surface, and slew of scheduled spring and summer races approach.
“I’m scared in a new way for the Chicago Marathon,” admits Jen Gaudette, a New York runner who shares her experiences on her blog, Jen’s Best Life. “But there is no way I’ll let that fear stop me from running it and raising money for a cause I feel strongly about.” —Lisa Elaine Held
For more info on the NYC run, visit www.runstrongereveryday.com. For runs in other cities, search by hashtag on Twitter, #BostonStrong<city name here>, i.e. #BostonStrongNYC, or visit www.pavementrunner.com