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Area runners respond to Boston Marathon tragedy
by Bobby Tedder
btedder@neighbornewspapers.com
April 19, 2013 02:13 PM | 593 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The local long-distance running community is rallying around the survivors of last week’s Boston Marathon tragedy.

Local outfits have started their own campaigns as show of support as well as joined larger efforts to honor those impacted.

Count staffers at Big Peach Running Co. among those to get involved.

The runners’ specialty retailer will host a Solidarity Run, its second such event commemorating the tragedy, Monday evening. Participants will meet up at all seven of its metro area stores, including the Brookhaven location, at 6:30 p.m.

Following a brief moment of reflection, the first mile of the four-mile trek will be done in silence.

This comes on the heels of the company’s similar outing the morning after terrorists set off explosives near the finish line at the marathon. The solemn affair attracted about 300 people.

“People, including me, cried while they were running … it was really quite intense,” said longtime runner and Big Peach Running spokeswoman Karen Kaye. “We just ran north on Peachtree [Road] and turned around.

“When we got back, nobody knew what to do.”

Kaye recalled waiting anxiously for several hours to hear from the two Big Peach employees — David Sarich and Alison Heslin — who had actually participated in the Boston Marathon. Both of them emerged from the incident unharmed.

Participants and onlookers should not expect this round of runs to be entirely enveloped by the same somber mood as before, organizers said.

“Now it is time enjoy each other's company and the run … anybody who’s a distance runner knows there’s such a camaraderie [we share],” Kaye said. “Running with happiness and hope means the bad guys lose.”

The impact of the Boston tragedy is likely to trickle down — particularly in the form of beefed-up safety details — to Atlanta’s own premier running event.

Organizers behind the Peachtree Road Race declined to give specifics but acknowledged proactive security would be given its usual high priority. The race attracts 60,000 runners each year.

“Safety at every Atlanta Track Club event is our top priority,” said Atlanta Track Club Executive Director Tracey Russell in a prepared statement. “As it relates to security with any large-scale event, we work very closely with the city’s police and fire departments and emergency medical service units, as well as the Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency and additional government agencies.”

Big Peach is asking residents to show their support by making a donation to One Fund Boston.

For prospective donors, Adidas has created a commemorative T-shirt — in Boston Marathon colors — and will be donating 100 percent of the proceeds to One Fund.

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