Courtesy of FBI/MCT
Ohio State students Srirama Josyula and Edward Briercheck are avid runners, and they spent this week organizing an event called Buckeyes Run for Boston, a fundraiser for the victims of the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
Deadly blasts near the finish line of Boston Marathon on Monday killed three people and injured more than 170. FBI officials have found two potential suspects through the use of surveillance footage in the area where the bomb blasts occurred.
The Buckeyes Run for Boston event is set to take place Saturday at noon and will start on the RPAC Plaza. Attendees can run any distance they feel comfortable with from one mile to a full 26.2-mile marathon.
“I think when events like the one in Boston happen, most of us want to do something but feel very far away,” said Briercheck, a graduate student in medicine, in an email. “Fortunately, there are amazing individuals on site, and the best thing we can do is to help the helpers by raising awareness and funds for groups like the Red Cross.”
Josyula said 100 percent of the proceeds raised from the event will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
“When I heard what had happened at the Boston Marathon this year, I was shocked and wondered what could prompt such an act,” said Josyula, a third-year in biochemistry. “I thought of my dream (to run the Boston Marathon) and decided, along with Ed, that we wanted to show our support for those affected in the marathon and preserve the tradition of determination, hard work and accomplishment that goes along with it.”
As of Thursday morning, the Facebook event page for Buckeyes Run for Boston had almost 180 people attending Saturday’s event, and Josluya expects anywhere from 150 to 200 runners.
“As an avid marathon runner, when I heard about the bombing events that took place in Boston this past Monday, I was devastated,” said Liz Reinhart, a 2012 OSU alumna who will be running in the Buckeyes Run for Boston marathon. “I could not understand how an event that celebrates commitment, hard work, community and dedication could be compromised by such a selfish and monstrous act. I am running for Boston on Saturday to show my support for all of the individuals whose lives were changed, or taken, that day. I am also running to show that ultimately it is the runners and spectators who prevail. We are a tough breed to bring down.”
Reinhart had friends who ran the Boston Marathon on Monday, however, they had all completed the race and were out of harm’s way before the blasts.
Briercheck also knew people running in the Boston Marathon.
“Everyone I knew running or in Boston was safe, so at this point we have to focus on those who were personally affected,” he said. “A few lost their lives and many will be adapting to a new life after grave injuries.”
Briercheck and Josyula encourage everyone to attend the Buckeyes Run for Boston event on Saturday, even if they can not run.
“I personally care about the Boston Marathon and the spirit it represents, but this fundraiser, on a deeper level, is about much more than that,” Josyula said. “It is about following your heart, working hard for the things that mean the most to you and not being afraid to take risks to affect change in the world. The beauty of this event is you can participate in any way you feel comfortable, (and) everyone is welcome.”