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Everyone wants to #RunForBoston

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff  April 23, 2013 08:52 AM

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April F. Estrada


Everyone wants to #RunForBoston.

Despite the fact their sport at its very core is a particularly solitary pursuit, runners are famous for their fellowship and camaraderie. Even at highly competitive races, the best runners are eager to offer advice and share a certain simpatico with others who participate.

In the days following the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, the running community's outpouring of support and solidarity has been overwhelming. Just search #RunForBoston on Twitter, you'll see.

Whether organized or as individuals, regardless of whether they were in the Boston Marathon, runners are taking action.

In many cases, that simply meant go running. A run helped you process the crush of information and events, it helped you clarify your thoughts and feelings, and it helped you just find an escape.

This tweet from Mario Fraioli, a senior editor at Competitor magazine, came two days after the Marathon bombings.

Fraioli's colleague at Competitor, Brian Metzler, reports interest in qualifying for the 2014 Boston Marathon has already spiked.

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Photo courtesy of Julie Heyde/Boston College

Others wanted to run together to show support for Boston, like the group pictured in the above photo shared by Philip Mai of a meetup.com group called SDR San Diego Running. Members of the Boston College women's track team ran a meet with "Boston Strong" written on their shoulders and blue and yellow ribbons the colors of the Boston Marathon in their hair.

The New York Road Runners group, which organizes the New York City Marathon, is selling "I run for Boston" shirts, and several members gathered near the NYC Marathon finish line Monday to observe a moment of silence at 2:50 p.m. together.

200RunNow_Bracelet.jpgA coalition of running industry businesses has created "Run Now," a web site and movement designed to be a "hub of information on volunteering, participating, and sharing activities that demonstrate the solidarity of the running community." Run Now's goal is to raise $1 million for The One Fund Boston by June 5, which is national running day, and it will distribute the bracelets pictured at marathons and retailers across the country.

More felt the need to write out their feelings. Jennifer Sloan, a 38-year-old mom from Cambridge, composed a poem while on a long run she felt she needed to help sort out her thoughts about the tragedy.

"I wrote the poem so that it could represent anyone who reads it," Sloan said. "The 'I' doesn't really mean me. It means everyone. We all felt moved and touched by what happened in Boston, no matter how close or how far away from the marathon we were."

We've reprinted it here with her permission.

Run, by Jennifer Sloan
I run
I run because I am Boston
I run for Boston
I run because I can, because I will
I run not because I am afraid
I run towards, for, in support of
I run one step, one thousand steps, one million steps
I run, I crawl, I am carried
I run in spirit
I take my first step
I run today, tomorrow, next year
I run for Martin
I run for Krystle
I run for Lingzi
I run for Sean
I run for all victims, the injured, the families
I run for those who need comfort, support
I run for a better world
I run for the good people
I run for hope, promise, tomorrow
I run because I cant forget, because I wont
I run
We run
I run because I am Boston
I RUN
RUN

Just as running has been cathartic in dealing with the Marathon tragedy, so too is sharing. Do you have a photo or short story, or perhaps want to spread the word about a #RunForBoston kind of event?

We invite you to share it here.

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
  • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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