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Boston Marathon Tragedy: How Runners Can Help

  • By Competitor.com
  • Published Apr. 18, 2013
  • Updated Apr. 19, 2013 at 10:54 AM UTC
As runners, we have the ability to help in many ways. Photo by PhotoRun.net

There are many small but meaningful ways runners can help the healing begin from this week’s horrific bombings.

Donate Money: Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino have announced the formation of The One Fund Boston, Inc. to help the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on Monday

Donate Blood Later: The American Red Cross says there is sufficient blood available to victims at Boston hospitals. But there will be needs in the immediate future, so consider giving blood next week or the week after that, whether you live in the Boston area or not. Click here for more details on how you can donate.

Wear Blue and Yellow: The idea to wear Boston Marathon’s 2013 color theme went viral on late Monday on RunChat. Wearing those colors or race shirts this week will show solidarity among all runners.

Buy a T-Shirt: On Thursday, adidas announced it was making “Boston Stands As One” T-shirts and giving all the proceeds to the One Fund Boston. The shirts quickly sold out, but more are expected to be available. Also, ’47 Brand hats made “B Strong” baseball caps but quickly sold out. Check back to each site to see when more shirts and hats become available.

Run for Boston: Go run a run today. Tomorrow. The next day, too. Continue running and spreading the joy and good will it fosters in all of us. Join one of the many virtual memorial and support runs if that’s how you need to connect and heal. A virtual run called Run for Boston takes place today, but you can join in from anywhere. Three San Diego Movin’ Shoes stores are hosting “Run for Boston” runs at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 22.

Boston Marathon Redux: A group is organizing a 26.2-mile run of the Boston course this Sunday, April 21, beginning at 10 a.m. in Hopkington. Called the Boston Marathon Redux, it is aimed at showing support for runners and victims affected by the bombings. However, extreme caution is urged because the roads will not be closed to traffic and no aid stations will be supporting runners.

Finish the Last Mile: This Saturday, April 20, runners will meet at 2:30 p.m. in Kenmore Square to finish “The Last Mile” of the Boston Marathon, where the majority of runners still on the course were stopped. The group is working to try to get permits for this event.

Donate Your Medal: Medals4Mettle is a nonprofit organization that collects earned finishers medals from marathoners, half marathons and triathletes and presents them to children and adults fighting life-threatening illnesses to recognize them for their courage. They are working with Boston area hospitals to present earned Boston Marathon medals to the victims and responders of this tragedy.

Other ways runners can help in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings: 

* Sign up for a race. Not because you want to stand tall against an act of terrorism, but because you love to run and shouldn’t be afraid of doing what you love to do. Get friends, family members and colleagues to join you.

* Talk to your friends who are runners and reach out to those who ran Boston or were in Boston on Monday. Most are probably still stunned or disturbed by having been there, regardless of whether they finished or not or where they were when the bombs went off.

* Try to qualify for the 2014 Boston Marathon. Not necessarily because you want to run in honor of the victims (who you might not know), but because setting goals and training hard to run fast is what the Boston Marathon has always been all about.

* If you don’t qualify for Boston, follow a training plan for any race and try to set a new PR at any distance. That’s the spirit of the Boston Marathon, something shared by every runner who has ever tried to earn a BQ has endured.

* Volunteer at a race or several sometime this year. Most of us focus mostly only on our own running and racing and rely on volunteers to support us. In addition to supporting the race on Monday, many volunteers became first-responders in the wake of the horror. Repay those efforts by volunteering in a race and helping others.

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