With the world reeling and looking for answers about the Boston Marathon bombing, Victoria wasted no time showing solidarity, with residents and runners alike eager to lend their support.
Wednesday night’s (April 17) Free Run 5K at Beacon Hill Park commemorated the victims of the Boston bombings. Runners wore ribbons on their shoes in yellow and blue, Boston Marathon’s official colours.
Around town, running groups held moments of silence before heading out for their regular training. Organizers of the Island Race Series anticipated a gesture of some type will be dedicated to Boston at the Sooke 10K on Sunday.
The TC 10K on April 28 is also looking at opportunities to direct donations towards the Boston victims, said race sponsor Rob Reid, owner of FrontRunners.
“Runners are tenacious and strong willed, and the months and the prep that goes into running a marathon shows that strong character that is at the fibre of runners globally,” said Reid, a director of the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon.
A six-time veteran of the Boston Marathon, Reid feels a strong connection to those runners who were unable to share in the euphoric moment that comes at the Boston finish line.
“Boston was what got us into marathoning. In the 1970s it was one of the only ones around. It’s Mount Everest for runners. I went from zero to wanting to run in Boston.”
There’s definitely a buzz going around the running community that people want to stand up to this act of terrorism, said Dave Milne, who organizes regular five-kilometre “free runs” at Beacon Hill Park through his Saanich store, Peninsula Runners.
“We started the free runs three years ago. They’re just open events that people can come out and participate in,” said Milne, who is also the director of the Oak Bay Half Marathon. “By (Wednesday morning) we had gone from 80 registered to 150.”
Runners were also encouraged to wear Boston Marathon running gear.
“We talked about cancelling it and postponing Wednesday’s race but after a lot of talking … we decided to dedicate the run to Boston,” Milne said on Tuesday. “A lot of people are running today because they can. Because of Boston.”