By Sara Belsole
COLUMBUS, GA - Even though Boston is more than a thousand miles away, the Columbus running community was shaken by Monday's explosion.
"The finish line at the Boston Marathon is one of the most joyous places that I can imagine. My reaction to hear that somebody would try to spoil that and harm people in the middle of that is outrage and anger and disappointment and excitement," Soldier Marathon Race Director Cecil Cheves says.
Cheves was not a participant this year, but has run the Boston Marathon five times. He says yesterday's tragedy will not stop him from running it a sixth time.
"I think the human spirit is such that when you get pushed, you push back," Cheves says.
Local runners began pushing back Monday night, with a memorial run at Big Dog Running Company.
"We started at the store and then made a loop around Broadway and everyone got a chance to carry the flags and the community came out and cheered and took pictures," Jennifer Williams, the Marketing Coordinator at Big Dog Running Company, says.
Flags now sit outside the Big Dog Running Company. They were placed there Tuesday morning after a few runners ran three miles in silence in honor of those who were killed.
Big Dog says the running will continue to race on.
"The purpose of terrorism and acts like this is to get people living in fear and I don't think any one of us feels that way," Williams says.
Cheves says race directors will keep thinking of ways to keep participants safe.
"If there is someone who wants to bring harm or make a political statement, then we have to address that in a thoughtful way and we have already started to address that," Cheves says.
Big Dog Running Company in Columbus is dedicating its weekly run to the Boston explosion victims. You can meet at the store on Broadway at 6 p.m. Wednesday night.
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