EUGENE, Ore. -- More than 100 people of all ages gathered in Alton Baker Park just before 6 o’clock Wednesday evening decked out in blue and yellow running gear, trailing dogs and baby strollers.
Nobody really knew who was behind the idea, but they knew why they were there.
With few other physical ways to give back, the runners of Track Town USA decided to help in a way they knew best.
The idea was very simple:
- Gather some friends
- Pick a place
- Wear blue and yellow (the colors of the Boston Marathon finish line)
- Take a picture with a “Run for Boston” sign and post it on the newly created Facebook page
Created by Chris Field (according to theblaze.com), a marathon organizer in Texas who made the Facebook page and later the tag #runforboston after he got support for his idea from local runners, the run has helped people channel their need for action after the tragedy of the Boston Marathon.
It is simply called “Run for Boston 4/15.”
Field explains himself on the Facebook page, “This is what runners do when life gets tough--we lace up our shoes and go run. This is the best way we know how to show Boston our support right now and begin the healing process for all of us.”
Just from Monday night, the idea has expanded world-wide, with runners sending in photos from “the UK, Germany, Kazakhstan, Guam and Canada to name a few.”
Thousands of photos crowd the page, and more continue to pour in.
In Eugene, there were several voices wanting to contribute as well.
A runner immediately raised her hand after the run organizer had outlined the very informal basics of the run and asked for any words from the crowd. Clutching her young son’s hand tightly against her side, she stepped forward, pulling him along.
“It was really brought home to me yesterday,” she said, “the idea that there is the family that we are born with, and the family that we choose. Every day that we put on our running shoes, and that we step out on to the road or the trail, we choose to be part of a running family. And yesterday, our brothers and sisters—not members of a running community—but our brothers and sisters, were attacked. Viciously attacked. And this run today isn’t about showing solidarity for some nameless person that we don’t know anything about, it’s about showing support for our family. And that’s why we’re here.”
Applause erupts from around her as she stepped out of the open center and back into the crowd, picking up her son along the way and holding him close.
A tall runner from the Boston Marathon was then pushed forward and introduced himself after a pause.
“My name is Larry Cox. I ran, I finished. I was ahead of the...” he struggled for a moment, as if reliving that moment at the finish line, “…carnage.” He paused again.
“I’m just out here for the same reason everyone else is out here,” he continued, “to show support for everyone whose lives have been badly affected. The Boston community did very well with this, it looked like. The people there were very strong. We just need to show our strength here as well, and we’re doing that. So thanks everybody for coming out.”
More applause followed after he stepped back into the crowd of blue and yellow. Then, with little ceremony and no set ending point in mind, the crowd turns and trots off, snaking around the park and onwards towards Pre’s Trail.
“Good overcame evil every time one of thousands of running shoes hit the pavement all around the world,” read the final post of the Facebook page on Wednesday night. “We re-wrote history today, and it will be a day that we won't soon forget. So kiss your kids, tuck them in tight, and remind them that there will always be more good in the world than evil. Always.”