The RUN NOW 5k fun run, walk and bike ride held June 19 had a larger than expected turn out and surprised the planners when the donations were counted and resulted in the money to be donated directly to the One Fund Boston.
The One Fund was created at the request of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino to assist victims and families affected by the tragic events April 15 and in the following days. In the weeks since the marathon, through the incredible generosity of thousands of individuals, foundations and corporations, One Fund Boston has raised more than $62 million for the victims and the families.
While the money raised in Cleveland was a small amount compared to the $62 million to date, local participants felt that they had contributed to a greater cause.
“As a community, as runners and as individuals, we just felt a draw to do something to help those that survived that tragic attack,” Fred Garmon said.
“I believe this event just put on display the spirit of our community, a community that feels ‘called’ to help those in need,” Matt Ryerson, also an avid runner, said.
However, this event has turned out to be much more. A group of 26 local runners has made a much greater commitment. In the “volunteer” tradition of Tennesseans, and in an effort to raise awareness about the needs of those impacted by the attack and a desire to raise funds to support these needs, they have committed to running 1,000 miles from Cleveland to Boston and the site of the bombing. They have called the trip the RUN NOW Relay, Cleveland to Boston.
“This is a massive effort with the goal of raising over $50,000 to help the victims directly impacted by the bombing,” said Matt Carlson, part of the RUN NOW Relay planning committee.
Garmon described the trip as a “trek done relay style, so runners will take turns pounding the pavement so that every step between Cleveland and Boston has had a local runner carrying the message that we, Cleveland, support our brothers and sisters in Boston.”
They will cross eight states, run through the major metropolitan cities of: Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York before arriving in Boston, with the last 26.2 miles tracing the Boston Marathon course. The runners will finish the thousand-mile trek at the traditional finish line on Boylston Street as a symbolic gesture of completing the race for those who were unable to complete it themselves. At that time, the funds raised will be hand delivered to a charity representative.
Along the route, the small team of local runners will climb the Appalachian Mountains, run the National Mall in our nation’s capital, circle Neyland Stadium, visit Bristol Motor Speedway, and stop to pay respects at Ground Zero in New York City, just to name a few highlights.
“The goal of this trip is to inspire, to impact and ultimately to touch those survivors of Boston,” Garmon said. “Our slogan has become ‘Remember Boston,’ and we want to be sure nobody forgets.”
The relay starts April 12, 2014, on the steps of the Bradley County Courthouse and ends Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014, in Boston the day before Patriots Day and the next Boston Marathon.
Anyone interested in supporting this effort can visit the Facebook page title d “RUN NOW Relay.”