Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images News
As the nation grieves in the aftermath of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, a promise to carry on defiantly in the face of terrorism is reverberating through the tight-knit community of runners.
Right after Monday's tragedy, plans for running tributes began to pop up all across the country in support of Boston. Over on Twitter, the hashtag #runforboston quickly picked up speed as the place for runners to virtually gather and make plans to show solidarity in ways that honor the sport they love.
In Santa Monica, a group of runners gathered to hold an impromptu marathon to honor the victims, a tribute known as "Running for Boston" that the Los Angeles Speed Project pulled together in 24 hours. The event began in the early morning at the Santa Monica Pier, where runners gathered in a circle for a moment of silence and a group hug before the group set out for a full marathon-distance run (or any distance each runner chose).
In New York, runners, including iVillagers, have been gathering in Central Park every night this week to show support for Boston.
In San Francisco, members of that city's Road Runners Club organized a race through the Sunset District -- in a route that spelled out "Boston." And on Thursday night, a vigil took the form of a three-mile run done silently, with flashlights.
In Morristown, New Jersey, the Jersey Club Sports and Run For Your Life will host its first Saturday 5K Fun Run to "show the world that no evil will ever stop the running community from doing what it loves and to show our support to those impacted by the Boston Marathon bombings," organizer Deb Nexon told Patch. The 5K is open to all skill levels, walkers and dogs.
Further south, in another Morristown -- this one in Tennessee -- a local running and hiking club turned an event it had already planned into a hiking tribute, which organizer John Smyth told the AP he expected would triple the usual turnout.
Boston College students are using Facebook to plan an event that will convene a group to walk the marathon's last five miles as a way of showing solidarity with the runners who didn't finish the race, as well as with the bystanders and victims.
Across the pond, the previously scheduled London Marathon will now include tributes to the victims in Boston, after organizers of the London race said that event would defiantly go on. Tributes will include moments of silence before each of the three start times, and participants wearing black ribbons with their race numbers in a show of support.