John Bozung, a 60-year-old runner from Orem, Utah, will extend his streak to 216 consecutive months with a 26.2-mile race by running the Salt Lake City Marathon on Saturday. Bozung wore his blue-and-gold 2012 Boston Marathon shirt and black visor yesterday, the same outfit he’s planning to put on Saturday.
More than 1,000 people gathered in Miami last night for a tribute run — including a 26.2-second moment of silence, a nod to the 26.2-mile marathon distance. A few people wore Red Sox hats and shirts, and participants held an outstretched U.S. flag while the national anthem blared before the event.
“For me it really close to home,” said Kiley Lapointe, a Massachusetts native who lives in Miami. “Being from Massachusetts, a lot of friends and family were participating at the race and participating every year at the Boston Marathon. It’s just a really scary, horrific tragedy.”
The event drew a larger-than-expected crowd, even though it obviously was planned in a hurry. A married couple from South Miami, Lalo Senior and Marcela Mora-Senior, designed T-shirts for the event that read, “Run for Boston. 4-15-13. Terrorism will never stop us.”
“I’m really sad for what happened in Boston,” Mora-Senior said. “You never know what can happen.”
In Morristown, Tenn., a local running and hiking club turned an already-planned 4-mile run into a Boston tribute. One of the organizers, John Smyth, said he expected to triple the usual turnout to about 75 people.
“There’ll probably be some tears shed and moments of silence. This is devastating,” said Smyth, who wore a T-shirt yesterday from a previous race, the Woodstock 5K in Anniston, Ala.
Smyth went on describe the sense of belonging he’s experienced in this sport.
“You’re trying to beat the guy running beside you, but at the same time you’re building camaraderie with everyone there,” Smyth said. “Everyone in the race ahead of you, everyone in the race behind you, you’re all like best friends. Once you cross that finish line, you’re crossing it to share in everyone’s glory.”
Yesterday, they shared in everyone’s pain.