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At Run to Remember, words to inspire get a special ride

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff  May 30, 2013 07:55 AM

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Ryan King (at right in left photo) and his sister, Taylor King, wore shirts they made at Sunday's Run to Remember. The back featured a poem written by a Boston.com reader. (Photos courtesy of Ryan King)


The days after the tragedy at the Boston Marathon saw a massive outpouring of support from the running community. From large companies making large donations to OneFund to running groups organizing events as a show of solidarity and to aid the healing process, runners did what they could to help.

Countless individual efforts and gestures also undoubtedly happened yet flew way under the radar. But one took place as a result of this blog, and we're compelled to complete the story.

In April, I wrote a post titled "Everyone wants to #RunForBoston." Included was a poem that Jennifer Sloan, a reader from Cambridge, wrote and decided to share.

Shortly thereafter, Ryan King, a Tewksbury native who is serving in the Navy in Norfolk, Va., contacted me because he wanted to reprint the poem on t-shirts he was making for Sunday's Run to Remember.

"Just the way it was written, I think it spoke for Boston," said King, 28, whose duties in the Navy include serving as a command fitness leader and conducting physical training sessions.

Sloan gave permission, and King and his sister, Taylor King, wore the shirts in the race Sunday and said they received numerous compliments about the poem and their shirts.

"I am sure Jennifer Sloan would love to know that her words made an impact," King wrote in an email this week.

Certainly the words had a far greater reach and impact because of King's decision to give them such a good ride.

Just like the movement to help in the aftermath of the bombings quickly swelled as more and more got involved, these two heartfelt and meaningful actions were a case of one thing leading to another for the greater good. And they were another example of how special Boston's running community truly is.

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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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