BOSTON, Mass. — Twenty-six joyous shouts lifted in celebration as the Run Now Relay team caught sight of one another a quarter of a mile from the trek’s finish line.
The team joined together in their highlighter-yellow Run Now shirts to finish the trek strong.
Organizer Matt Ryerson reflected on the moment hours later in the Boston Park Plaza lobby.
“The end of this journey is such an amazingly wide range of feelings,” Ryerson said. “First, I am glad we all arrived safely and met our goal of raising over $25,000 for two incredible organizations.
“Second, I am simply emotional. The effort we’ve put into the journey — the planning, the physical challenge and the mental effort — required to succeed was just overwhelming.”
Runners discovered Friday afternoon they would be unable to finish their 1,075-mile trek at the Boston Marathon finish line.
Instead of giving up on the mission, it was decided the “finish” would be split into two parts.
Saturday afternoon found the team crossing the official starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.
Elite runner and Run Now member Johnny Clemons, dubbed Johnny Marathon by his teammates, will run the final 26.2 miles of the 1,075 journey on Monday in the official marathon.
Ryerson said all of the effort is minor in comparison of the good done through the relay for Dream Big! and the One Step Ahead Foundation.
“…Not to mention the victims and the survivors of last year’s bombing. It would be insulting for me to say [the run] was hard,” Ryerson said. “But to do something so big, so epic, and to literally feel the tremendous support from our community has brought me, and so many from this team, to tears on a daily basis.”
He said the feeling of love and support has been overwhelming.
Ryerson will join Clemons, Matt Carlson and Fred Garmon in the marathon Monday.
“That is just the icing. I am not looking for a personal record as I certainly did not have the ideal week leading into the marathon,” Ryerson said.
“Rather, I am just going ot enjoy the spirit of resiliency and strength this city displays on a daily basis, and will probably never be more present than on race day.”
Monday’s edition of the Cleveland Daily Banner will have a thorough coverage of Saturday’s events.