The events that happen after a tragedy show what the heart and soul of our country is really about. If you don’t feel the strength of the collective running community after the Boston Marathon bombing, I’d be shocked. From marathoners running straight off the course to the hospital to donate blood; to wearing race shirts to show support; to organizing a country-wide run to remember Boston: to honor the victims, support the first responders, and show our nation’s strength, one step at a time.
That’s exactly what Brian Kelley did. When I saw what Brian of PavementRunner.com posted on Facebook, I knew something big was going to happen. I just didn’t know how big. He wrote “I feel like I need to do something. Something more than a donation. Something more than a blog post or a photo or a graphic. I’m inspired by the community and how we have come together and shown our support, shed our tears and expressed our fears.” He went on to say in a blog post that “with a simple look at your Facebook page, a refresh of your twitter feed or scroll through Instagram …you can SEE the love. But I want to FEEL it.”
Brian’s motivation came from more than just being a runner himself. The time of the bombing struck him deeply and personally. “4:09 — that’s around my finish time. I finished Fresno last November at 4:09:28… the very first race where both [my daughter and wife] were waiting for me. Waiting for daddy,” he writes.
His desire to make a positive impact after an awful situation was pure, honest, and heartfelt. “I want us to embrace the community in a REAL and HUMAN way. I want us to do what we do best. I want us to run … together.”
And that’s just what he did. He wasted no time in organizing a multi-city run the Monday following the Boston marathon. He encouraged people in all cities to take the lead in starting a run in their community. People from all over the country -even outside the country- responded. From Florida to California to New York and more, runners gathered Monday evening at 6:00 pm to run together, in despite of physical distance. Thousands of people turned up for these #BostonStrong runs. Here’s just a sample of some of the amazing strength and support of the running community. ‘
Visit PavementRunner.com to see more pictures and learn more about Brian and the #BostonStrong movement.