Marathon Organizers And Running Community Respond To Boston Marathon Bombing

on April 16 2013 3:40 PM
Boston Marathon Runners After Bombing
Boston Marathon runners Lisa Kresky-Griffin and Tammy Snyder, left, embrace at the barricaded entrance at Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Reuters

In the wake of the tragic events at the Boston Marathon, the running community has responded to the bombing with solidarity and support.

With many marathons coming up, safety is a concern, but runners are still signing up. Virginia Brophy Achman, executive director of Twin Cities In Motion, which organizes the Twin Cities Marathon, said there was a surge in registration for the marathon following the Boston Marathon bombing.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to our colleagues and friends at the BAA [Boston Athletic Association] and everyone that’s been impacted by the events yesterday," Achman said, in response to the Boston Marathon tragedy. "Safety is always our first and foremost priority, and we will continue to follow our protocols and continue to review our practices and work with the experts in our community, which is the city officials and police, to see if there is anything we can learn from this. We will continue to do our due diligence, and we will do what we always do and that’s put the safety of the runner and the community first.”

The Twin Cities Marathon takes place on Oct. 6, with a field of 12,200 runners, and Achman said they are still in the preliminary stages of planning the race and have not had discussions in regards to supporting charity efforts to Boston.

“We are still in processing mode, as you could imagine,” Achman said to IBTimes.  

Even though there have been no formal plans made, she praised the running community for their solidarity in the wake of Monday’s events.

“If you go on Facebook, you can see the whole running community coming together and supporting the city of Boston," Achman said. "I’m so touched and impressed with how many people helped each other yesterday. I just think it speaks to who we are that we all help each other. When things are tough or situations come up, we all help each other, and I think the running community is just a magnification of that.”

Achman noted that the Twin Cities Marathon has a program that lets runners race for a charity of their choice. “Last year raised three-quarters of a million dollars, so I would suspect we would see runners, as individuals, choosing to fundraise for causes that support what happened yesterday,” she said.

With many runners competing in different marathons, there is a sense of camaraderie among the athletes.

“It’s not a very big world, as we say, and we did have a lot of Minnesotans in Boston running," Achman said. "And we have a lot of runners that qualify on our course, and so, therefore, they go and run. We’re all connected, especially in this world now with social media. Runners, and this community, are very generous.”

The next big marathon, the Virgin London Marathon scheduled for Sunday, said in a statement they were reviewing all security measures, and London Marathon Chief Executive Nick Bitel said, “The support we have been offered by our stakeholders, London Boroughs and the wider running community has been outstanding. We have the full support of the Metropolitan Police, the mayor's office and other authorities.” The marathon is planning to hold a moment of silence, and organizers have encouraged runners to wear a black ribbon in support of those affected by the events in Boston.

The New York Road Runners, which organizes the New York City Marathon, said in a statement, “All of our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families of the bombings at the Boston Marathon today, as well as with the runners, spectators, volunteers and staff of the Boston Athletic Association. Marathons bring out the best of the human spirit and unite our cities and towns. This is a tragic day for all of us in the running community. We are here in full support of our close friends at the BAA. The safety and security of all New York Road Runners’ races is and will always be our top priority. We will continue to work hand in hand with the City of New York and the NYPD as we plan for upcoming events.”

Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director, said in a statement, “Our thoughts and prayers remain with our colleagues at the Boston Marathon, and with the spectators, participants, volunteers and loved ones who were affected by yesterday’s tragic events. As a partner in the World Marathon Majors, we offer our full support of the Boston Athletic Association and the City of Boston as they work through the horrific events that took place. We want to reassure those registered for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and the family members, friends and volunteers who plan to support them, that we are in constant communication with the City of Chicago, the Office of Emergency Management and Communication, the Chicago Police and Fire Departments regarding the security plan that is implemented at the Chicago Marathon. As our top priority, we work in lockstep with these agencies to ensure the safest possible event for everyone involved. As we do each year and throughout the year, we will sit down with these agencies and conduct a comprehensive security review as part of the planning process for this year’s event.