Thousands of miles from the Boston Marathon bombings, distance runners shared in the sorrow.
To honor the victims and deal with their own emotions, they banded together yesterday like runners do — by putting on their shoes and going for a jog.
The day after explosions near the finish line of one of the world’s most prestigious races killed at least three people, wounded so many more and shook the thousands who gathered to watch, middle-of-the-pack runners all over the country offered tributes.
The Twitter hashtag “runforboston” turned into a virtual meeting spot for a steady, somber stream of social media users eager to show solidarity with those hurt in the blasts — along with pride in their sport — by pounding the pavement, even for just a few miles.
Some Boston College students used Facebook to plan a walk of the marathon’s last five miles Friday afternoon “to stand united” with runners who didn’t finish, bystanders who were injured and those who lost their lives.
“We will walk to show that we decide when our marathon ends,” the invitation read. As of midafternoon yesterday, more than 12,000 people clicked on “join” to signal their participation.
Mike Ewoldt, the co-owner of a running equipment store based in Omaha, Neb., had previously organized an informal run for last night to test a new shoe brand. He shifted gears to turn the event into a memorial for the victims.
“Everybody looks at Boston as the pinnacle of running. First, you have to qualify and meet a standard to get to Boston. If you qualify, you have two years to run it. It is a one-time shot for a lot of them. They may never get this opportunity again,” Ewoldt said.
Ewoldt, like many in the massive community that is distance running, wanted to show he cared.