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Boston Marathon explosions: Local runners hold impromptu marathon to support Boston victims

April 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
They may be on opposite sides of the country but runners in the Los Angeles area laced up their running shoes to show support for the victims affected by the Boston Marathon attack.

Approximately 1,000 people were invited by the LA Speed Project for an impromptu marathon called, "Run for Boston," which kicked off at 6 a.m. Wednesday near the Santa Monica Pier.

The event aimed to show solidarity and support for those affected by the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon.

With the American flag leading the way, more than 100 runners ran along the ocean in Santa Monica. Among them were two local marathoners who crossed the finish line in Boston before the explosions - Amy Hutner and Chrispin Lazarit.

"There were two loud booms, and I immediately thought the worst," described Hutner.

Hutner and Lazarit weren't far from the finish line and immediately started looking for one another

"It was just impossible to navigate through that or even try to find anyone. Everyone looks the same. Every runner has the Mylar blankets, and it was impossible to recognize anyone," said Lazarit.

It took several hours for Lazarit and Hutner to finally account for everyone in their group. They were among the lucky ones, but they ran Wednesday morning for all of those who weren't.

"It just shows that it's not going to dissuade us from doing what we love to do," said Blue Benadum, who organized the event. "We're fighters anyway, and so this is just another battle."

It wasn't just marathoners who banned together. Even those who hardly ever run laced up their shoes and came out to show their support.

Area resident Maddie Tomey said she heard about the event Tuesday night from her roommate and decided to participate.

"I figured, in such a helpless situation, this is at least something that I can do to give back and show that I really respect and feel for what happened in Boston the other day, so I'm here to just show support," Tomey said.

Tomey added that she's not a marathoner and the morning run would likely be a big struggle for her.

"But I figure the purpose and reason behind why I'm here is completely worth it, so I'll do my best," she said.

There's been a large showing at such events across the country. Runners gathered for a flashlight run Tuesday night along the Los Angeles River Bike Trail in Los Feliz. There was also a similar run in Miami. On Friday, a group of Boston College students are organizing a walk of the Boston Marathon's final five miles for those who did not get a chance to complete the race.

Runners at these events say they feel it's very important to show their solidarity and their unity with runners. They're determined not to be deterred from the sport they love so much.

Runner Julie Weiss said she's running "to show our support and the power of the human spirit and how we can't be broken."

Two bombs exploded at the finish line at the Boston Marathon on Monday. Three people were killed and more than 170 others were injured. Investigators are combing through mounds of evidence, but they have yet to connect the attack to any terror group.


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