By The Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Nearly 1,000 people from Florida and Georgia planned to run the final 5.2 miles of the Boston Marathon at a Tallahassee race in a symbolic gesture of support for the runners who were stopped at mile 21 during the deadly bombings.
More than a dozen Tallahassee residents ran the Boston Marathon earlier this week and several of them were expected to participate in Sunday's event. Tallahassee has a strong running and triathlete community and is home to an annual marathon that many runners from around the nation attend to qualify for the Boston Marathon, event planner Shannon Colavecchio said.
“It's still so fresh in everybody's minds and knowing that our purpose is to finish the race for those who could not, I think resonates with a lot of people, said Colavecchio, a runner and small business owner.
Twin explosions ripped through the marathon crowd at the finish line in Boston, killing three people and wounding more than 180. One suspect was listed in serious condition at a hospital Saturday. His brother was killed during a massive manhunt.
Colavecchio planned the event in a few short days and thought it might draw 50 runners. But she said she has received overwhelming support from the community.
Businesses have donated jewelry and other high-priced items for a raffle and law enforcement planned to send in reserves to make sure the race is safe. All proceeds will go to the Boston Red Cross, she said.
“People feel so helpless and they want to do something, even if they think it's something that's not going to fix anything,” she said.