“If there was ever a time to run: Run Now” to show solidarity with Boston Marathon bombing victims.
That is the message runners from across the nation and the state are sending on behalf of those who will never run again. Tennesseans have logged running more than 3,000 miles in support of a nationwide movement that began in response to the April 15 bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Local runners and walkers will add to the total on the afternoon of June 19 on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway, beginning at the big yellow chair art piece on Raider Drive. The local event begins at 4 p.m., exactly two months from the day bombing suspects Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed and his 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured by police.
The day begins at 4 p.m. with family time with vendors, inflatables and chalk messages to Boston, followed by the walk, run and ride at 6 p.m. Vendors are asked to start setting up at 1 p.m.
“We’re going to send a chalk message to Boston. A section of the sidewalk will be marked off so people can write a message and the winner will receive something like a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant,” said Fred Garmon, international director of People for Care and Learning, a Cleveland-based support organization that sponsored the Greenway’s nearby playground. “A picture of the message will be sent to Boston.”
State Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland representing the 24th Legislative District which includes Cleveland, will read a proclamation from the city declaring June 19, 2013, as “Run Now Day” on behalf of Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland who will be in Nashville.
“All of the residents of the city of Boston and the state of Massachusetts have our deepest and heartfelt sympathy,” Rowland said. “Even though we have not experienced terrorism in our community, we have experienced terror from devastating tornadoes on April 27, 2011. All of us in Cleveland, Tennessee, are praying for all of you in Boston.”
The two-mile walk will follow the Greenway south toward the Church of God while the three-mile run will go north toward Tinsley Park and The Home Depot. The 12-mile bike ride will follow a course along city streets.
Each participant will receive a Run Now bracelet to commemorate the event. T-shirts will also be available for purchase.
Registration is the day of the event. Waivers are required to participate. Entry fee is $5 or no more than $10 per family with 100 percent of the money going to One Fund Boston. One Fund Boston was established through the generosity of businesses, foundations and individual donors. It was created at the request of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
The Victim Relief Fund of The One Fund Boston will be used to assist those families of the victims who were killed and the victims who were most seriously affected by the tragic events on April 15, April 18 and April 19.
To date, $37.6 million has been raised on behalf of the families of four who died and 265 others who suffered injuries.
A bomb blast indiscriminately killed three people while they waited for runners to cross the finish line. Krystle Campbell, 29, of Medford, Mass., a restaurant manager; Martin William Richard, 8, Dorchester, Mass.; and Lingzi Lu, 23, China, a graduate student at Boston University; were spectators at the 117th Boston Marathon.
A fourth death occurred April 18 when Sean Collier, 26, Wilmington, Mass., an MIT police officer, was killed. According to media reports, shots were fired at about 10:20 p.m. on the MIT campus in Cambridge, about two miles north of downtown Boston. Collier was shot multiple times while he was still in his police cruiser.
Garmon said the running community throughout the United States felt the bombers had attacked them as well.
“The victims who were injured have all kinds of medical needs, from ... double amputees to various other injuries, and have no way of addressing those needs so the running community, all across the United States started having these Run Now events,” Garmon said.
According to the One Fund Boston website, the nonprofit organization was established through the generosity of businesses, foundations and individual donors. It was created at the request of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
The Victim Relief Fund of the OFB will be used to assist those families of the victims who were killed and the victims who were most seriously affected as a result of the tragic events during the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 and related events on April 18 and April 19, 2013.