Local Runners Support Boston Marathon Victims With Special "Run - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Local Runners Support Boston Marathon Victims With Special "Run To Remember"

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(WLNS) - Thousands of runners participated in the annual Boston Marathon Monday. Given the tragic events at last year's race, this one carried special meaning for many.

Here in mid-Michigan, the athletic store Playmakers, which sponsors many local races, organized a special tribute run for the victims of the Boston Marathon attacks.

The support has been overwhelming, more than 300 runners signed up to participate in the “Run to Remember.”

The motivation for just about all of them was remembering those in Boston, especially those who no longer have the ability to run.

6 News Joe Khalil spoke with a woman who ran the Boston Marathon last year, who says seeing the support today speaks volumes about our ability as a nation to overcome tragedy.

As Kim Aeschliman remembers, it was a beautiful Monday afternoon, much like today.

"Not a care in the world just really excited to be at the Boston Marathon.”

That is until two, now infamous brothers turned the prideful occasion into a national tragedy.

"We just kind of thought it was a cannon, you know a celebratory cannon. And then the second one happened and you saw the smoke billowing and you knew, this was no celebration,” said Kim Aeschliman, runner, 2013 Boston Marathon.

But Aeschliman says looking back, it's perhaps the unintended consequences of that attack that stick with her.

The national sense of unity that followed was the inspiration for today's Run to Remember 5k race at Playmakers in Okemos.

"We're just like we really need to do something on the anniversary of the bombings, so we came up with the Run to Remember,” said Michelle Phillipich, Marketing Director, Playmakers.

Phillipich says this one was easy. It didn’t take very much marketing to inspire the community to rally around this event.

"We just kind of threw it out there, opened it up and next thing we know the inquiries were coming in, the phone calls and people just wanting to know how they can get involved."

"It's just amazing how people rally together,” said Phillipich.

All of the runners were given “Boston Strong” bands to carry with them through the race. There’s no better motivation than being able to look down at that message as the runners cross the finish line.
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