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Boston Marathon runners resolve to return to the race

Published: Friday, April 19 2013 2:28 p.m. MDT

Some runners competing in the Salt Lake City Marathon will run in remembrance of the Boston Marathon bombing victims.

Chelsea Larson, Utah runner

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While the Boston Marathon will inevitably be remembered for the horrors experienced by witnesses and runners alike, it will also be noted for the acts of kindness and the resolve of Boston and the nation to run again.

The anniversary of the first race, which occurred on April 19, 1897, speaks of a steadfast resolution to maintain liberty. The race was originally held on Patriot's Day, a regional holiday celebrating the beginning of the Revolutionary War, according to an article by History.com.

The significance of the marathon's ties to a holiday commemorating freedom lies in the solidarity of participants to overcome the adversity of terrorism and run the race next year.

Participants have begun to vocalize this resolve, including Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. According to an article by CNN, Menino told a crowd that Boston would not be swayed by an act of terror. "This tragedy is not going to stop Boston. We will not let terror take us over."

Menino also told a gathering of about 2,000 people that Boston is one. "No adversity. No challenge. Nothing can tear down the resilience in the heart of the city and its people," according to an article by NBC.

President Barack Obama also provided encouragement during an interfaith prayer service. "Your resolve is the greatest rebuke to whoever committed this heinous act."

As a witness to the politicians' remarks, participants of this year's marathon and spectators from across the nation have begun to consider running the race next year.

Whitney Johnson, a woman who claims never to have run a 10K in her life, said in an article on LinkedIn that we shouldn't allow terror to cause us to let our hopes and dreams die. "When people commit acts of terror, I believe the intent is for people to die, but even more so, they want to throw a grenade at our hope for the future, our own lives, those we love." Johnson is considering running the Boston Marathon next year.

A number of runners who were at various stages of the race when the explosions occurred have also pledged their resolve to run the race again next year. This group includes parents from the Newtown community, who were running the race in honor of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December.

The Newtown members consisted of eight people from the community who were running to raise money for Newtown Strong, which provides a scholarship fund for siblings of the shooting victims.

In an article by Fox News, Tom Abrams, one of the Newtown runners, proclaimed that that he will run the race next year. He also believes that the bombings will strengthen the resolve of the runners to carry on. "I think we'll see the running community bond together … when something like this happens I would anticipate seeing the running community with even more determination going forward."

Another Newtown runner, Laura Nowacki, a first responder who rushed to help the shooting victims at Sandy Hook, had just completed the marathon when the explosions occurred.

"We are Newtown Strong and we want to help them be Boston Strong. … We want to help with what we've learned. We want to pass on some of that."

For a marathon that is known for runners who race to raise funds for charities, the support continues to pour in. Memes have appeared across the Web, thousands have joined Facebook groups supporting the victims and participants continue dedicating their resolve to return to run the race again.

Email: ajones@desnews.com

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