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Team to run Marathon in memory of Martin Richard

epa03665586 Undated handout photo released 17 April 2013 by the Neighborhood House Charter School shows Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, 8. Richard was killed, and his mother and sister were injured when one of two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 15 April 2013. Three people have been reported killed in the attack. EPA/NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE CHARTER SCHOOL HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard’s family has started a foundation, hoping to spread the message the 8-year-old wrote on the poster in this heartwrenching picture. Handout photo/EPA

At least 72 people will run the Boston Marathon as part of a team in honor of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old Dorchester boy who died while watching the race with his family.

The family’s charitable foundation today announced that their fledgling team, selected from more than 250 applicants, includes 14 runners who live in Dorchester and 22 runners from 15 states.

“We established The Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation to honor our son Martin’s message of peace, a message that went global in the days after he was tragically taken from us,” said Bill Richard, Martin’s father, in a statement. “While the pain of that day will forever be with us, our hope is that this special event becomes a source of strength for our family and a means to make a difference in the world.”

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The foundation received charity bibs provided by the Boston Athletic Association, which offered bibs to all victims who received aid from the One Fund. Each of the team’s runners has pledged to raise thousands of dollars for the foundation, which the family formed to “honor Martin’s message of, ‘No more hurting people – peace’ by investing in education, athletics, and community.”

The foundation is accepting applications from runners who have already qualified for the Marathon or were prevented from finishing last April.

The foundation received applications from 35 states, as well as Europe, Asia, and South America. Of the 72 people on the team, 50 come from Massachusetts. The team includes personal friends of the family as well as students, parents, teachers, coaches, first responders, doctors and nurses, journalists, entrepreneurs, CEOs, a member of Congress, and two wounded veterans, according to the foundation.

“We were impressed that every application we received was sincere and thoughtful,” said Denise Richard, Martin’s mother, in a statement. “Many of them were emotional and told of personal experience with tragedy, perseverance, and heroism.”

She added: “Some stories were difficult to read, but every single application was read carefully and considered fully. In many ways the process was good for Bill and me.”

To support the foundation, visit www.TeamMR8.org.

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