The number was just too coincidental. Seventy-six? Really? Two days after the bombings at the Boston Marathon and 76 runners show up at Three Rivers Running Company (TRRC) Wednesday to show their support for the victims and their families?
That's right, call it “The Running Revolution.” Runners and run clubs around the country have bonded together in support of the victims and their families, to support of their sport, and to state unequivecally: distance runners do not stop running.
A running group named “Wednesday Run Clubbers” and based out of the TRRC decided Tuesday to hold a special run yesterday at 5:30 p.m. Through social media the interest spread and instead of the usual 20 or so runners, there were four times as many.
“We do have a great spirit among us,” said Pam Wolfe, running group leader and TRRC employee. “We are a strong, persevering group: you cannot keep us from running.”
The Fort Wayne Track Club is also planning an organized run in recognition of the Boston bombings. The group is promoting a 1-mile run Sunday from Swinney Park beginning at 2 p.m. that will finish at Parkview Field before the TinCaps baseball game. All participants will be able to sign a banner provided by the TinCaps and Fort4Fitness.
“As a running community, our intention is to raise awareness for the victims and their families,” said FWTC board member Jon Gottschalk. “As runners we will not stop running and we will not be afraid to participate in great events like the Boston Marathon.”
Those interested in participating in the FWTC run are encouraged to park downtown and make their way to the Swinney Park starting line. Then, after the run (or after attending the TinCaps baseball game), you will be closer to your car.
“Basically, this is runners supporting runners,” Gottschalk said. “There will be a lot of people (at the game) signing the banner.”
Wolfe said Wednesday's spontaneous response at TRRC says plenty about the area's running community.
“We thought this was an appropriate time to recognize what has happened,” Wolfe said. “It had just happened, so we need to make this statement now. And our (running) community responded.”
The run began with a proclamation by TRRC read by Wolfe and then a moment of silence. Runners then crossed N. Clinton and made their way to the Greenway. From there runners were able to run distances of their choice before returning to TRRC.
“It was awesome,” said eight-time Boston Marathon participant Jim McKinnon of Waterloo. “To see our runners come together says a lot about us and our sport.”