Tuesday night, just a bit more than 24 hours after the bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon, runners took to reclaim the city streets in the Hub. Numerous, grassroots-style runs organized as a way to pay respect and honor the victims of the senseless attack, mostly through social media and word-of-mouth. One such run started behind the Courtside Bar in Cambridge, just across the Charles River from Boston, after a 26.2-second observance of silence.
Then they took to the streets, where drivers honked in support, pedestrians took photos with their phones, and cyclists and other runners waved and smiled. A Cambridge Fire Department truck flashed its lights.
The group ran along both banks of the Charles River, growing quiet at the view of night falling over the skyline of the still-traumatized city.
More than $4,000 was donated for relief efforts.
The four-mile jog around Boston was just one of countless runs that sprang up all around the country. Skinny Raven's 5K in Anchorage, Alaska, had over 350 people show up to honor those fallen. Texas' Cypress Running Club dedicated Wednesday's 5:30 a.m. run to Boston. A "Run for Boston" is planned in New York's Saratoga Spa State Park, and Chicago-based runners' group RunJunkEes has organized a virtual run.
Kelly Luckett , stopped at Mile 25.8 in Boston, organized a run in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia.
A "Run For Boston 4/17" Facebook page has been established, urging people to get out an run on Wednesday "as a sign of solidarity for the people and runners of Boston."
The idea is simple. Anytime on Wednesday, April 17th:
1) Gather your friends
2) Pick a place
3) Wear blue or yellow
4) Take a picture with a "Run for Boston" sign and post here
Join in this simple gesture to show Boston that we are all standing with them.
The page has over 20,000 Likes.
Boston College's "Boston Marathon: The Last 5" event has been postponed, but organizers will instead hold a vigil on Friday at 4 p.m., on the school's O'Neill Plaza.
Where I live, here in Washington, D.C., there are already five separate runs organized over the next couple of weeks.
As has been said countless times over the past couple of days, the running community is resilient, and it is strong.
If you'd like to print out race bibs for your runs, RunJunkEs has proved three options.