While running may be their passion, they certainly don’t use it to escape the past.
Marathoners – and runners in general – have come together in recent weeks to show their support for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings that occurred on April 15, 2013.
The One Run For Boston hit the ground running in Santa Monica, California on March 16 with a goal of runners from across the country traversing a coast-to-coast path amassing 3,300 miles, which will end in Boston on Sunday, April 13.
That path is scheduled to weave its way through the local area, as runners will take off in Long Valley and head into Mendham before passing the proverbial baton to other athletes.
Linda Blazier, a Flanders resident, member of the Chester Runners Club, and Hopatcong School District teacher is leading a pack of runners locally in the course’s Stage 303, which begins at the Dunkin’ Donuts in Long Valley at 62 East Mill Road, and ends at St. Joe’s Church at 8 West Main Street in Mendham.
Blazier’s group, which includes five other runners, is expected to take off at 7:40 a.m. on Friday, April 11, assuming all previous stages have been completed on time.
The course along Route 24 is 9.64 miles with an incline at one point of 874 feet.
“I am running because I was absolutely horrified and devastated by the events at the Boston Marathon last year,” Blazier said. “Runners are a group unlike any other: the resilience and determination to overcome ANY obstacle is a common thread that we all share. Last year, I ran the same leg of One Run for Boston in its inaugural year, and was incredibly inspired by the event, and in particular, its ability to mobilize a strong, LARGE group of people who would have otherwise felt collectively helpless, and turn our energy toward the greater good.”
Taking over at Stage 304 in Mendham is Mike Bufano, who is joined by 10 other runners on his nine-mile trek to Green Village.
After the bombings in 2013, One Run was launched and raised more than $91,000 for the victims. As of Monday afternoon, the 2014 event has already raised $353,399 thanks to a total of 1,884 runners, according to its website.