At the end of what was an undoubtedly tough week for the Nation, runners in the Tennessee Valley spent Sunday showing their support for Boston, by doing what they love best: running.
More than 25 Tennessee Valley runners ran in the Boston Marathon on Monday, witnessing the explosions or the aftermath. On Sunday, they and members of the community gathered for a Run/Walk for Boston.
"I was lucky. Finishing the Boston Marathon and my time don`t matter compared to what the folks that got injured and the families of the folks of those who have died because of the explosions have been through," said Jim Clemens, who has run the Boston Marathon four times.
The shock, grief, and pain was felt by even those safe at home hundreds of miles away.
"All we want to do is reach out and help them immediately, because they`re doing something they enjoy doing, and it`s been taken away from them," said Suzanne Erickson, an avid runner who was home in Huntsville when she heard the news. "They were terrorized in a moment of joy because it was at the finish line."
For these runners life often imitates art. Just as they put one foot in front of the next, pushing through the physical challenge of their first mile or their 26th, they are determined to become stronger as a community, and as a nation, because of Boston.
"We are just so proud to be Americans and I think everyone rallies together in a time like this," said Erickson.
Several runners at the event today expressed their desire to return to the Boston Marathon next year, or run it for the first time.