Local runners remember Boston Marathon tragedy

Many runners heading to next week's marathon
Local runners remember Boston Marathon tragedy

Tuesday’s Boston Strong Run is no ordinary run for the members of Fleet Feet. The running group took to the pavement to reflect on the one-year anniversary of the bombing that stunned the nation.

One participant, Jeff Vanbendagom, has run the Boston marathon in the past but missed qualifying for last year’s marathon by 15 seconds.

Next week he will head back to Boston alongside almost 40,000 other runners to send a message.

“Seeing how divisive last year’s bombing was, I wanted to come to support those who were injured and show that terrorism doesn’t win,” said Vanbendegom. “If we all show up and work together, keep this event alive, share in the spirit of it, then we win and the terrorists don’t.”

Jeff said his family would’ve been waiting for him at the finish line, which makes this year’s run even more emotional. Jessica Anderson, organizer of the Madison fleet feet run, said she felt it was important to do something for local runners participating in this year’s marathon. “Obviously, it hit really close to home,” said Anderson. “We also want to send off those who are going this year. So next Monday will be the race and we just want to send those people off and wish them a good race.”

This Is Fleet Feet’s second run in honor of the marathon. Last year the store hosted a run a week after the marathon bombings, where 300 people came out to show their support.