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Thousands of runners get their chance to finish Boston Marathon

May 26, 2013|By Chuck Schilken
  • Runners who were unable to finish the Boston Marathon on April 15 joined bombing victims to cross the finish line on Boylston Street after running the final mile on Saturday.
Runners who were unable to finish the Boston Marathon on April 15 joined… (Winslow Townson / Associated…)

More than a month after the bombings that took three lives and wounded more than 260 people, thousands of runners got the chance to reclaim an experience that had been robbed of them -- crossing the finish line at the Boston Marathon.

About 3,000 marathon participants and bombing victims gathered in light rain Saturday to run the final mile of the race while honoring those affected by the tragedy and emergency workers in an event known as OneRun, spokeswoman Kathleen McGonagle said.

“It was very emotional to run down this street and see all the people cheering,” said OneRun organizer J. Alain Ferry, who was prevented from completing his ninth consecutive Boston Marathon on April 15 and ran the final mile Saturday.

He added: “There were a lot of tears. And I can feel in my throat that there are going to be more. This was a scab for everyone that just was not healing.”

OneRun wasn't a fundraiser, McGonagle said, but corporate donations covered the operating costs and any leftover funds will benefit bombing victims.

Runner Rosy Spraker said the event provided some closure. The Lorton, Va., resident, who had been just a half-mile from the finish line when the bombs exploded, received her medal in the mail but couldn't bring herself to wear it until after Saturday's run.

“Now I feel like I've earned my medal,” Spraker said. “I wanted to run for the victims, for freedom, to show the world that nothing is going to stop us.”

Her husband, Lesley Spraker, added: “Somebody that thinks that they're going to stop a marathoner from running doesn't understand the mentality of a marathoner.”

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