After the tragic bombing of the Boston Marathon last year the running world united as never before. Charity runs across the country raising money for the victims were everywhere. And then there was the One Run for Boston – a relay run starting in Los Angeles and ending at the Boston Marathon finish line. Dramatic Finish in Boston. I am thrilled to have been able to take part in this event.
The run started on June 7th, 2013 in the Los Angeles area and crossed the Boston Marathon finish line in the early morning hours of July 1st, 2013. We were lucky enough to have the run come through LaPaz and Mohave County in Arizona and a few of the Havasu Hustlers got to take part – myself included.
Mel’s daughter passing off the baton to him
Each leg was 9-13 miles in length. Ours was in late morning, in June, in Arizona, which meant extremely hot temps so four of us decided to share one leg. Mel’s daughter was also running a leg so we coordinated with her and she handed the baton off to Mel in Big River, CA. From there Mel and Ron ran together for about three miles and handed the baton off to Shaun. Shaun got to cross over from California to Arizona which was pretty cool. Then it was my turn and I took off like I was in a race and ran the first mile in 7:42 – silly me! I proceeded to slow down due to the heat. I constantly dumped water over my head and quickly ran out so when I saw my support vehicle (my wonderful husband Richard, Shaun and Gracie) I waved them down and Shaun quickly filled my water bottles and I was off again. I ran about four miles and then handed the baton off to another runner – someone I never met and yet somehow felt a connection with. That was the beauty of this race; so many runners coming together, carrying the same baton across the country, raising money for the victims of such a senseless crime. It was here we got to meet the very fun and supportive race organizers, Kate and Danny, from England.
Shaun crossing the AZ border
The next few legs were along the highway with runners we did not know. They would be reaching our home town of Lake Havasu in a few hours so Shaun and I decided to shower, grab a bite to eat then go find and cheer on the runners as they traveled through Havasu. A few other Hustlers joined us as we drove out past the south end of town looking for the runner. When we saw him we honked and hollered, waved and yelled. You could tell he was thrilled. By now it was mid-day and about 112 degrees and he was in the middle of nowhere. We found a place to park and cheered him on again as he ran past. We then proceeded to the next exchange and cheered on the next runner. Again, these were people we did not know but we all were friends in that moment. It was early evening by the time the last runner was heading out of Havasu and again we were there to cheer the one coming in and the one leaving. His wife and young daughter were there from Kingman to see him off; organizers Kate and Danny were there along the way at every stop.
4 stars for the victims, 280 that were injured, blue route, baton in the middle
A couple months later Mel and Ron surprised me with One Run for Boston medal engraved with my name and the stage we ran. It was incredible and brought tears to my eyes.
This was not a timed event. There were no awards for first place. Yet it was the most awesome event I have ever been a part of and am so grateful that I got the opportunity to participate. Every one that ran and took part in this event felt a connection, from Los Angeles to Boston and everywhere in between.
The 2014 route is different this year and does not run through Lake Havasu. Although I am still participating, there was something so special about it coming right through our home town and being able to continue to be part of it even after we were done running.
Have you participated in a relay? Which ones and what was your experience like? Share with us in the comments below.