Local Runners Honor Boston Marathon Bombing Victims
On Saturday, Omaha had its first 5K since Boston Marathon bombingsPhoto: Video by kmtv.com
CREATED Apr. 20, 2013
Omaha, NE -- On Saturday, the annual Classuen-Leahy run, which benefits University of Nebraska-Omaha student athletes, took place.
Joe Hoovestol won the race. He ran over three miles in just 17 minutes.
"It feels great," he said after getting his medal.
Hoovestol is an avid runner. Four years ago, he checked off something that sits on top of bucket lists across the country.
"I ran the Boston Marathon in '09," said Hoovestol. "It was pretty amazing. Every town you go through, it's 10 people deep. People just go nuts."
He said it was an experience he will never forget.
"I was 2-3 miles from the finish line, and I started jogging a little bit and the crowd just erupted," said Hoovestol. "I had this one guy running alongside of me saying, 'Yeah! You can do it!"
It was the same atmosphere in Boston on Monday.
Then, the bombs went off.
"It was super weird," said Hoovestol. "I was actually amazed more people didn't get hurt because when you're there, it's just tons of people. It's just packed because everyone wants to go and see their family members finish at the end."
With Boston on their minds and in their hearts, Hoovestol and hundreds of others had their eyes on the finish line in Omaha on Saturday.
"We are here for the people in Boston, and we want them to know that," said student Diane Banderas. "This is what we can do to show support. We are going to do what we can."
It's a showing of support that will carry the running community through next year.
"I bet they'll have record numbers for people that are going to run Boston next year," said Hoovestol. "I think it'll be a lot of support, and a lot of people support each other. I think it'll be a good thing."
Hoovestol said he has friends who are already making plans to run in Boston next April.