The Aztecs, a U-12 girls soccer club based in Beverly, ran as a group yesterday.
“We had a practice scheduled for today but decided it would be better to spend it doing this,” said Aztec coach Mike Kersker, 41, the athletic director at Waring School in Beverly.
Wes Lassen, the general manager at the New England Running Co., put a post about the run on Facebook last week but had no idea what kind of response it would get.
“This is a much bigger turnout that I expected,” he said, gazing across a crowd of runners, many wearing blue and yellow, the official Boston Marathon colors.
The store also collected donations for the Woolfenden family. The Salem Five set up funds for both the Woolfendens and for the family of Martin Richard, the Dorchester boy who was killed. His father, Bill Richard, is from Salem. Donations can be sent to the Salem Five (Attn. Woolfenden Family Fund or Richard Family Fund), 210 Essex St., Salem, MA, 01970.
“Runners are special people,” said Brenda Ernst, 45, of Rowley. “You know if something ever happens, they will be there for you.”
Before joining the other runners, Tricia Woolfenden said one last thank-you.
“I’ve always loved Boston,” she said, tapping her hand on her jacket, “but now it’s in my heart.”
Tom Dalton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.