Wednesday, April 24, 2013

#BostonStrongATH - Athens, Georgia

A run for us to unite and show our strength.
A run for those that were unable to finish.
A run for those that may never run again.
A run for us to try and make sense of the tragedy that has forever changed something we love.

Pavement Runner started an incredible movement with the idea of the #BostonStrong run series, for Monday evening, one week since the tragedy in Boston. I quickly emailed the idea to one of our Athens Road Runners board members on Tuesday, and by Wednesday I had a Facebook event invite waiting for me - runners make things happen. The ARR coordinated the run, with further coordination for shirts from the Athens Running Company and a local State Farm agent jumped in for water for post-run refreshment. Community. What a community.

I'd say there were safely between 200 and 250 runners that came out Monday for a solemn 3 miles around Athens - moms, kids, dogs, college students, and some of our area-based 17 Boston Marathoners from this year. An amazing turnout for an event with five days' notice. Humbling, to say the least.

 We started with a 26-second moment of silence for each mile of Boston, followed by introductions of our Boston Marathoners that were able to make it, and a description of the course. ARR won over the hearts of the local police with the promise that all of us (yes, all of us) would obey traffic laws, stop signs, and run on sidewalks. We did... for the most part.

It felt like any other 5K in town - we usually run (most of) the course during our Saturday group runs, in some form or another, so I knew the hills backwards and forwards (mostly forwards), and knew what was coming. I felt great, but knew to back off coming into mile 3, where I started to feel it. Chandler and I chatted most of the way, as I bolted my way through what was supposed to be an easy 3 miles for the day (spoiler: they were too fast for 'easy'!). 
 source | Chandler told me she wanted to learn how to pose like me while running. Win.
The part that got me most was seeing families - parents, their kids, toddlers, and even a set of infant twin baby girls - were out on their porches cheering, like it was an actual race through their neighborhood. I got goosebumps every time I passed one of those houses, thinking of all those spectators killed, injured. They're hurting just as much as we are as runners.

I even got to chat with the press (and more photos I know you want to see here). Afterward, a local bar held a post-run gathering, complete with free hot dogs, water, tea, and Sam Adams for the cheap. Spectacular.

Did you participate in a #BostonStrong run on Monday?


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  1. So awesome to see the recap of everyone's events!! Love the running community :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Melissa! I've been loving reading all the recaps too - they're so great!

  2. I have been loving everyone's recaps of Boston. Our running community (local, virtual, and global) is so DANG supportive. It's truly incredible. Good luck this weekend, you're going to nail your goal! #sub2orbust

    1. Everyone's recaps have been REALLY awesome and so touching to read. Thanks for the love - so excited!