Article by the Newburyport News:
NEWBURYPORT — In reaction to the horror that engulfed last year’s Boston Marathon, thousands have vowed to run the race this year in support of our country, its freedom and the good will produced by millions of its residents.
Not all affected by the tragedy, though, are able to commit to running 26.2 miles. While they may not be taking to Hopkinton on April 21, the Winner’s Circle Running Club of Salisbury has provided an easier opportunity for anybody to help further heal themselves and the city of Boston by strapping on running shoes.
Held the weekend before this year’s marathon, the club will host the Greater Newburyport Boston Strong 2.62 Mile Charity Race. A Fun Run for children will begin at 10 a.m. on April 13. The charity run will begin soon after at 10:30 a.m.
“We had 70 runners at the Marathon last year who were directly affected by the events,” said Scott Walsh, president of the Winners Circle Running Club. “We are not deterred. We have over 100 runners and volunteers going to the marathon this year. The community support has meant a great deal to us.”
Calli Towne will be coordinating the event and explained the story behind it and how people can get involved.
“Everyone was affected by marathon tragedies last year,” Towne said. “A group of us from the Newburyport Mothers Club sent out an email asking if anybody wanted to plan an event to help. Eight of our members responded and we decided that we wanted it to benefit The One Fund.
“Some of us had never run while some ran competitively, but none of us had ever organized a race. We quickly realized we needed help to pull it off. I thought to reach out to the Winners Circle Running Club, and we asked if they’d help us. Within 24 hours, its president Scott Walsh emailed me back and said the club was very affected by what happened and wanted to do something but weren’t sure of what, and decided to partner with us.”
Last year’s race had over 700 runners participate, and $15,000 was raised. Taking advice from last year’s runners, the course for this year’s event has been changed. The race will begin at Sally Snyder Way in Cashman Park, will then go up Merrimac Street, down on to Ashland and up on to High Street. It will then loop back around to the rail trail.
“It will be a nice course. It’s one that is doable for anyone of any age,” Towne said. “The hill up Ashland may be tough, but other than that it’s a flat course. It will be beautiful running through the streets of Newburyport. We would love for this year’s race to be bigger than last year. The bigger the race, the more money we can raise. Right now, we have about 250 people registered.”
Though nearly a year has passed since last year’s tragedy, Towne said The One Fund is still accepting donations and could use the support. She added that there has been a lot of confusion about this, but at the end of the day, many of the victims of the bombing lost limbs or hearing and will need medical care for the rest of their lives.
“Because they got a payout from The One Fund recently doesn’t mean they still don’t have ongoing medical needs,” Towne said. “The youngest victims, for example, will need prosthetic limbs their entire adult life and as they grow. The prosthetic devices aren’t permanent and wear out over time, so new ones have to be purchased. The needs of those affected are very much ongoing and need our support.”
Registration for the race is $25 and is open to those of all ages. Gift bags will be handed out to all runners, as well as new shirts to the first 500 people that register. Runners can sign up on the day of the race and www.runthecircle.org/bostonstrong.