Jon DeWitt, left, J.P. Miller, and Tim Alderson lead a group of runners at Levis Commons in Perrysburg during a training run Thursday. The three men and Second Sole owner Matt Folk, wearing the red shirt, will be running in the Boston Marathon next week.
A year ago Tuesday, Boston Marathon runners were crossing the finish line when two homemade shrapnel bombs went off, killing three and wounding 260.
A week from today, a group of about 20 runners, 10 from Perrysburg, who meet at Second Sole in Perrysburg and run together will help in the mourning process by running in the Boston Marathon. While usually more often, the group meets every Thursday to run around Levis Commons.
“The race filled up quickly because everyone wants to go back and show their support,” said Matt Folk, owner of Second Sole in Levis Commons and a Perrysburg resident.
He ran the Boston Marathon in 2011 and said the atmosphere along the course is incredible because the Patriots’ Day holiday in Massachusetts frees many from work. He can’t imagine how many more people than normal will be out to support the runners after last year's attack.
Jon DeWitt, in the circle of runners going, is eager to be a part of the emotional day. He thinks the intensity and environment will help his time.
“Everyone being there will be so inspiring,” he said. “The support will be through the roof. It will be a great place to get a fast time.”
Heightened security may make this the safest year ever to run the Boston race.
Lisa Stevens, a Perrysburg resident who teaches physical education in the Oregon schools, was a block from the finish line last year receiving her medal for finishing when the bombs went off.
An injury not related to the bombing will prevent her from returning this year, but she plans to go back in the future. The bombing cost her the opportunity to celebrate finishing the race, and that’s something she wants to go back and enjoy.
“It was terrifying,” said Ellen Terrie, who lived in the Boston area last year. “I can’t put it into words.”
The Bowling Green resident won’t be at the marathon this year, but she said it will be an incredibly emotional day without even being there.
Chantilly and Jason Kessler of Perrysburg will be running their first Boston Marathon next week. They both qualified last year but didn’t go — which makes Ms. Kessler glad because her entire family usually gathers at marathons’ finish lines to cheer the couple on.
“I would have never been able to forgive myself if something happened to them while I did a hobby,” she said.
She is looking forward to being able to do it this year though.
“It is gonna be big. It is going to be so intense you can’t prepare for it. I’m hoping it carries me through the hills.”