From Columbus to Gambier and beyond, it's quite easy to hear the passion when talking about running and racing.
Columbus runners told 10TV they translated that passion to the support their fellow runners.
“Running means a lot to me, actually, it's my way of reflection, it's my exercise, it's my inspiration,” said runner Christina Christian.
It's that inspiration keeping these seasoned runners going, despite the devastating images pouring out of Boston.
“I lived in New York in Manhattan on 9/11. I had a 5-week old baby, and I watched the towers fall out my window from my apartment, and so this just brings all of that back,” said runner Rachel Lichten. “It was miles away, but it was right in my heart.”
“You know what, it actually did affect me personally because it's that feeling of race day and just knowing the elation you feel on race day and it kind of hit me hard,” said runner Kristen Foley.
They ran with the spirit of those marathoners in mind.
“I took the mile that I ran this morning for the mile for the people who didn't get to finish,” said runner Danielle Ruben.
“I stopped at 2.62 miles and just took a moment for the people who couldn't finish their 26.2,” said Lichten.
It's that solidarity among runners that has the Earth Day Challenge Marathon race coordinator confident that the track at Kenyon College will be packed with people on Sunday, including the Columbus runners who spoke with 10TV.
“But what I do know is that there are going to be more people on the ground, more eyes looking around,” said race director John Hofferberth.
More eyes scanning the grounds, as more runners taking their mark. The organizer says that more than 500 people coming together as one.
“At the same time, like when a runner hits the 20-mile mark in a marathon, and hits that wall, the thing that runners do best is that they pick themselves up and they push on towards the finish. And I think that's what the running community should do now,” said Hofferberth.
The race organizer also said that despite the race being held in a small community, they are still going to be vigilant with their security with more police officers making careful sweeps around the race course, as well as around those attending.
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