BOSTON, Mass.—Everyone in the city of Boston knows where they were on 15 April 2013 at 2:49 p.m. The world watched as the scene unfolded at the Boston Marathon. Some of the world’s greatest athletes had crossed the finish line just hours before, and Bostonians gathered en mass to cheer on those who were completing this year’s marathon.
When three friends from England—Kate Treleaven, Danny Bent and Jamie Hay—saw the joy and spirit behind the Marathon so tragically interrupted, they knew they had to do something. No strangers to long-distance fundraising events, the three decided to plan out a transcontinental relay from Los Angeles to Boston in order to show the world that the spirit of runners cannot be broken.
The “One Run for Boston” was born.
“The One Run for Boston is a chance for runners to come together and show solidarity in a really dynamic way,” Treleaven said, “It’s a chance to be part of something remarkable, to demonstrate the strength of the human spirit, and send a powerful message of support to the city of Boston and those whose lives were changed on April 15.”
The run left Los Angeles on June 7 at 10:00 a.m. and arrived in Boston on June 30 at 7:00 p.m. Over 1,500 runners from across the country kept the relay going non-stop, 24 hours a day. Runners passed a specially designed baton between stages through 14 states. The baton, known as “Miles” to relay runners, was equipped with a GPS device that made it easy to track the progress of the relay.
The relay traveled through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and finally Massachusetts. The 3300 mile route has been divided into 319 separate stages. Most of the stages were around ten miles long, with a few as long as 26 miles and some group stages in the big cities just five miles long.
All of the stages in Massachusetts were group stages, and the final four stages were completed on the Boston Marathon route.
The relay has collected over $60 thousand for the One Fund.
Along with donating money to the One Fund, the relay gave all donations made by the runners in Oklahoma to a fund set up for victims of the Moore tornado, which killed 23 people and injured hundreds others. When the relay passed through Oklahoma on June 17 through 19, the participants ran directly through the areas affected by the tornado.
The spirit amongst relay runners was high. Participants helped each other plan out their courses, making sure they had security escorts and even flying out runners from New England to run some hard-to-fill legs in Texas. Runners shared their progress on Facebook and on Pongr, a Boston-based photo sharing website.
“When the news from Boston reached us on April 15, we were completely stunned,” Bent said, “It took a little while to digest what had happened, but we each reacted in exactly the same way—we just knew we had to do something.”
The trio’s sentiment was a popular one, with many other organizations putting together benefit nights, setting up runs, and creating products to benefit the One Fund. To date, the fund has raised more than $50 million for victims and families of those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.