About 200 central New York runners marked the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings last night. The running bond remains strong a year after the bombing that left three people dead and scores injured.
A bagpipe serenaded runners hitting the pavement of Onondaga Lake Park to mark the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Runners of all shapes and sizes, some with dogs, others pushing carriages, all stepped off on a perfect April night to show their solidarity with the running world that suffered a blow one year ago. Among them was Boston resident John Sheedy of Syracuse.
"I certainly think that the events of the Boston Marathon bombing last year have brought everyone closer together," Sheedy said. "They see the spirit of not only the Boston community but the running community as a whole.”
Has the running world changed in the year since the bombing? Liz Knickerbocker works for Fleet Feet, which sponsored the run. She admits that she’s more aware of her surroundings during races.
“I think that initially that when the Boston bombings happened, I found myself a little more unsafe and everyone had that kind of feeling," Knickerbocker explained. "When you were out on a run, you were noticing people around you. When you were finishing a race you were noticing what was around you and what wasn’t.”
But she also says the bombing has opened up the world of running to more people, which she attributes to the stories surrounding the Boston bombing.
“This year we saw an uptick in all races being run," Knickerbocker said. "About six to 10 percent in every race that was being put on. And it was just more people deciding that they can’t hold them down, and they’re gonna get out there together."
Runner Susan Pugh of Liverpool agrees, saying the tragedy helped bring the running community closer together.
“We all get up to that starting line with the same goal, which is to cross that finish line," Pugh said. "And I think when you have the same goals you really connect together and there’s a certain love that you share. I think Joe Biden said it best, when he said we own the finish line. And we do, whether that finish line is in Boston or here in Syracuse. We own that. This is ours, and no one’s going to take that away from us."