Team Run Spells Out “Boston” on a GPS Map
In the weeks following the Boston Marathon bombings, Gregory Soutiea decided he wanted to help some friends finally finish the race that was brought to a halt on April 15.
To do this, Soutiea and a coworker came up with the idea of running a route around the city, so that when viewed and tracked on a map, using a running app, it would spell out the word “Boston.”
“My coworker, Chelsea, and I worked on the map and I decided to bring the idea to Jonathan, the head coach and founder of Zoom Multisport— the triathlon team I race with,” he says.
From there, the team got together early (6 a.m. early) on Wednesday, May 1, and began their trek through parts of the Back Bay, and, eventually, across the Boston Marathon Finish line. The group of roughly 20 runners decided to make it a closed event to teammates and friends affected by the events at the marathon. Although Soutiea was able to complete the marathon the day of the bombing, some of his acquaintances were stopped after the second bomb went off. Luckily, he says, no one was really hurt by the blasts near the end of the race on Boylston Street.
But in order to let those who were unable to cross the race line that day feel a personal victory, he devised the route plan, which included a brief stop at the memorial near Marathon Sports where they all reflected on the tragedy together. “Five of the six [participants] weren’t able to finish. We wanted our teammates and friends to have the opportunity to cross the finish line with our support,” he says. “I have only been back to the area once, and a lot of people hadn’t been back yet at all, so it was a good thing to be around, and be around for each other, to continue the healing process. We were all out there during the race and supporting each other before the race.”
Above is a photo taken of the run through Boston, captured from a Garmin GPS device. The route was planned out using a smartphone app called “Map My Run.”
A similar route was also drawn up and completed by runners on the other side of the country just days after the bombings. Members of the San Francisco Road Runners Club posted a photo of the running tribute on their Facebook page.