Oshkosh Runners Honor Boston Marathon Vicitms
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
OSHKOSH - Sunday's Oshkosh 5K and Half Marathon began with a moment of silence for those killed in the Boston bombings. Participants say the show of support for runners all across the nation has never been stronger.
A strong sense of American pride could be felt by runners and on-lookers at the half marathon. Runners say this week's tragedy has united them with one mindset.
"Runners will move on and they will run," said Gloria West, the director of the race.
Just before the big race got started, there was an emotional tribute held for those injured or killed in the Boston Marathon bombings.
"The bad guys will not win and we will stand united and we're going to run united," said Steve Wieckert. He ran in the Boston Marathon on Monday and barely crossed the finish line before the explosions went off.
The tribute was led by Wisconsin runners who were in Boston on Monday and made it back safely. Oshkosh race director Gloria West says organizers made some changes this year in light of the tragedy.
"We did increase safety and security. We wanted to make sure that that was in tact," said West.
Runners from the Boston Marathon say the outpouring of support has been incredible.
"A lot of people were just giving a lot of well wishes and letting us know they're glad we made it back safely, which made us feel real good," said Adam Brouch, a runner from the Boston Marathon.
Many of those who crossed the finish line did so with a hand over their heart. One woman says for her, the gesture is a way of showing support both for her country and her fellow runners.
"America is one unit and we're strong and we will survive anything and any evil that comes our way," said Theresa Papenfuss, a runner in the Oshkosh 5K and Half Marathon.
Many runners today say they are planning on running the Boston Marathon next year to show unity and support.