The mood was energized Monday night, as members of the community gathered to show support for those affected by the explosions in Boston last week by walking or running on the Huckleberry Trail.
The Runners for Boston runs are organized as part of a national effort by the Independent Running Retailers Association (IRRA).
At 6:30 p.m., Cortney Martin and Kirsten Thompson Mosby, who ran the marathon last week, spoke of their experiences, followed by a moment of silence at 6:42 p.m. to remember those injured or killed in Boston, as well as those in West Texas affected by the fertilizer plant explosion.
“Running is a lot about freedom and getting out in the world and being unencumbered and just going… this was such an affront and assault to what we love and value,” Martin said.
Thompson Mosby and her husband traveled to Boston with their children to run the marathon.
“I think sometimes the worst things bring out so much good in people,” Mosby said. “It was really humbling to know that in such a moment of tragedy there’s a lot of good still.”
The participants last night gathered for different reasons, but all shared the underlying hope of solidarity.
Sophomore health, nutrition, foods and exercise major Shacoria Winston participated last night to show her respect for the victims in Boston.
“It’s a time to promote unity amongst our campus again,” Winston said. “I feel like we’re used to tragedy and we’re used to events of this nature so the things that occurred in Boston are similar to what we have experienced. We need to show respect for them and show support in the same way that everyone else around the country has shown for us.”
Brett Sherfy — a graduate student in math education — sported blue and yellow, the colors of the Boston Marathon, while he ran Monday night.
“Races have always been a safe, energetic environment and I think that was all kind of taken away last Monday,” said Sherfy. “(The Boston Marathon) is still going to be the pinnacle of marathon running, but it’s never going to be the same.”
Runabout Sports, a member of the IRRA, hosted the event for the area and sold “Runners for Boston” t-shirts with 100 percent of the proceeds going to One Fun Boston aiding victims of the tragedy.
Owner of Runabout Sports, James DeMarco, called the Boston Marathon a celebration of life and endorses running as a good way to express emotions.
“One of the worst things you can do is dwell on things,” DeMarco said. “Running is definitely a proven way to get rid of…stress. If everybody ran more often I think we’d have a lot less violence in the world.”
Runabout Sports donated $300 to cover the cost of making the shirts and hope to raise $1,000 for the charity from sales.
One Fund Boston will distribute money to families most affected by the Boston Marathon explosions.
The cost of an amputation procedure ranges from $20,000-$60,000 with the average cost of a prosthesis being anywhere between a few thousand dollars and $40,000.
One Fund Boston has already raised over $10 million to donate to victims and families.
DeMarco predicts that next year the marathon will see more runners than ever before.
Martin is determined to return to run in Boston again next year and Sherfy hopes to qualify for the marathon one day.
“(At Virginia Tech) we have a really good understanding of uniting together after a tragic event,” Sherfy said. “I’ve seen what a community can do after (tragedy).”