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Published: Monday, 4/22/2013

Toledo runners lace up to support Boston bombing victims


Hundreds of runners and walkers flooded Perrysburg's Woodlands Park on Monday night for a fund-raising event to remember the Boston Marathon bombing victims.

Race organizers said the event raised an estimated $15,000-$20,000 for One Fund Boston, Inc., which was formed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino, to assist those affected by the bombings.

Coordinated by Dave's Running stores, the local event was suggested to the business by the community on April 15, the day of the bombings, employee Alan Morrison said. Dave's has four stores, in Sylvania, Perrysburg, Delta and Findlay.

"Residents started contacting us literally the day of the tragedy," he said. "All we did was respond to the running community."

Money was raised through T-shirt sales, which were white with black lettering and said "4-15-13 Boston, United to Remember" on them. They sold for $20 apiece.

"We have quite a few people kicking in $50 or $100," Mr. Morrison said.

Deshler, Ohio, resident Annette Tietje and her daughter, Tara Tieje, 16, traveled about an hour to get to the race.

"I just want to support all the people who got hurt," the older woman said. 

George Roche, a local runner who also ran in the marathon this year, lead a prayer before the race, and instructed participants to observe a moment of silence to recognize the victims.

He finished the marathon on April 15 in 3 hours, 44 minutes and was 500 yards away when the first of two explosions that day hit.

"I actually crossed the finish line about 10 minutes before the first explosion," Mr. Roche said. "They had just given me my metal."

James Mason, owner of Dave's Running, said 800 shirts printed for the event and the number of attendees exceeded that. He plans to have more shirts printed and have them available at the stores this week.

Mr. Mason's father, who the running business is named after, ran the Boston Marathon multiple times, years ago. 

His son said "solidarity" races for One Fund Boston, Inc., have taken the country by storm since the bombings.

"It's been pretty much a widespread thing across the United States," Mr. Mason said.

Contact Kelly McLendon at: kmclendon@theblade.com or 419-724-6522 or on Twitter @KMcBlade.

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