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Boston Marathon Runners Return Home for Memorial Run

Posted at 9:38 PM, Apr 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-16 23:12:21-04

PORTAGE, Mich. — Nearly 400 West Michigan runners got together for a memorial run on Tuesday, in honor the victims of the Boston Marathon explosions. 

The run – at Celery Flat’s Park in Portage – was meant to show solidarity throughout the running community.

Several runners returning from the marathon attended the run and described their horrific experience.

“You could hear the panic and the screaming so you knew it was bad,” Sandy Fritz recalled. She was standing at the finish line receiving her medal when the bombs detonated.

“I was just getting my medal when the first explosion happened and then instantly there was another one and I looked at the guy and said ‘that’s not supposed to happen’ and he said ’no.” Fritz recalled.

“It was a dream to get to,” Zach Wegner said of running. “I’ve been dreaming for it for years but, you know, now it’s…it doesn’t matter.”

The first half mile of the run was dedicated to the victims and those who didn’t get to finish their race.  Race organizer Brett Beier ran 4.09 miles – representing the four-hour, nine-minute point in the race when the explosives went off.  Others ran eight miles, honoring Martin Richard, the eight-year-old boy who was killed in the attack.

There were also two young girls with their mother holding signs in support of the victims and the runners.

Fundraisers and events in support of the Boston victims have been popping up throughout West Michigan.  Striders, a running store in Eastown, says they’ve gotten lots of questions about how people can help with the recent events in Boston.  They sent FOX 17 this information:

“First, our group run on Wednesday night at 6pm is going to be a part of the national push to ‘Run for Boston on 4/17.’ Basically, it’s a way to unite runners together to remember, reflect and support those affected by this terrible tragedy- here is the link to the group run: https://www.facebook.com/events/158229161011687/?fref=ts.

We are joining together to run wearing Boston gear or blue and yellow, and will be taking a group picture at the end with a “Run for Boston” sign. This will be posted with the hundreds of other running stores, groups and individuals that join together across the country to run for our brothers and sisters in Boston.

The second thing we’ll be doing is donating a portion of proceeds from our already scheduled 5 and 10 mile races this Saturday. This event is called the Striders Saturday Classic, and more info can be found at stridersrun.com.  We’re encouraging runners to wear blue and yellow and join us in support again.”