Residents, Students Will Travel Race Route to Show Support for Marathon Victims
Area residents, workers, and college students are organizing treks along the Boston Marathon route to show support for the victims of the bombing on Monday that sent more than 100 people to the hospital, and claimed the lives of three others.
Jonathan Ritter-Roderick says he will head to Hopkinton on Sunday, April 21, and run from the starting line of the marathon route all the way back to Boston to send a message of solidarity to the city he loves, and to those impacted by Monday’s tragedy during the “Boston Redux.”
“It’s kind of a visual strength of awareness of the city itself,” says Ritter-Roderick of his plans to go the 26.2-mile distance. “It doesn’t really matter who joins, it could be just me … but the plan is the same start time and same location as [the Boston Marathon].”
Ritter-Roderick says he understands the investigation may be ongoing come Sunday, when he plans to hold the event, and if so, he will reorganize for a time when there will be access to the Boylston Street area, which is currently closed off as FBI agents and police scour the scene for evidence. “I’ll go as far as the city will let us go. If they get wind of it and want to shut it down I will gladly do it another time,” he says. “I was hoping to get some welcoming from the city first, so we wouldn’t cause any issues. If it’s safer in a month, then great…but right now I plan on going Sunday.”
Fourteen people have pledged to join Ritter-Roderick, a Boston resident who works at the Harvard Business School, during his long trek back to the city. He says he has never run more than 13 miles before, so if he has to walk the rest of the route, he will. “I don’t care. I have time,” he says. “I’m doing this to show respect to the victims of the tragedy [and] to show respect to everyone that did the race—and everyone who rushed down there.” Ritter-Roderick encourages participants to walk, rollerblade, skateboard, and of course, run, during the Sunday show of support.
Prior to Ritter-Roderick’s travels along the entire marathon route, thousands of students have said they plan on attending a five-mile walk from Boston College to Boston, “remember, honor, and stand up for all those affected by the incident.”
The Last 5
According to “the Last 5” Facebook event page, more than 8,000 people are attending a symbolic walk from the school in Chestnut Hill on Friday, April 19. “[This is] for anyone who did not get to finish, for anyone who was injured, and for anyone who lost their life … we will walk. We will walk to show that we decide when our marathon ends,” according to a statement from the event organizers.
Students from Boston University wrote on the Facebook event page that they would be joining members of the Boston College community for the five-mile walk in solidarity of the victims of Monday’s tragedy. Those attending say they plan on making T-shirts and pins for Friday’s event.