After completing the Boston Marathon in 2010, his fifth time running the 42-kilometre course, Toronto resident Wayne Chee promised himself he would never do it again. Training for the race through the harsh Toronto winters was simply too hard.
But Mr. Chee is now determined to run again next year in defiance. “I’m going to go back next year because we’re not going to let these guys stop us,” says Mr. Chee, 59. “I’m not going to let these guys run us off the roads.”
Mr. Chee was among about 80 runners who gathered at the north end of Toronto’s Queen’s Park on Tuesday evening for an informal run in honour of the Boston victims. Across the country, runners are taking part in such actions, organized through social media and running groups, to express their condolences and show their resolve to keep participating in their sport.
“I felt like I wanted to do something to bring runners together and show solidary and also to remind ourselves we have such a great community,” says Gillian Tweedie, 32, who organized Tuesday’s run via Facebook, which she dubbed the “Run for Peace.”
Across Canada on Wednesday, groups organized by the Running Room will hold a moment of silence at each of the retailer’s 118 locations at 6 p.m. ahead of their regular runs. The public is also welcome to participate, says Running Room founder John Stanton.
The fact that the attacks occurred near the finish line, where the most spectators had gathered and participants were at their happiest and most fatigued, made the tragedy all the more devastating, Mr. Stanton says. “It’s the most vulnerable point of the marathon so I think … the sympathy goes out to them for the carnage they experienced, but also, there’s anger in the community,” he says. “I feel that this has really invaded the running community and we have to stand up to terrorism.”
In Britain, organizers of the London Marathon said Sunday’s race will go ahead with a period of silence for 30 seconds prior to the start of the elite men’s race and mass start. Wency Leung
Meanwhile, Nova Scotia’s government is giving $50,000 to a Boston children’s hospital in the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, while Halifax’s mayor is offering to help in any way he can, citing the close ties between the Massachusetts city and this Maritime capital.
Boston came to the aid of Halifax during the Halifax Explosion in December, 1917, sending medical supplies and expertise. Halifax sends a Christmas tree to Boston every year as a sign of its appreciation.
With a report from Jane Taber