We’re SO proud that Pongr’s Ellen Perl and Taylor Mecham ran the last eight-mile stretch of One Run For Boston, a 3,300-mile 24/7 relay race to raise funds for the Boston Marathon bombing victims.
Ellen and Taylor were both near the marathon course when the terrorist attacks happened (you can read their motivational stories here). One Run proved to be a bonding experience for hundreds of runners across the world, all of whom naturally attached their own personal spin on the symbolic run.
In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 61-year-old Joe Church ran 100 miles in the memory of his wife Eileen, who had just lost her battle with lung cancer. In Greenwich, Connecticut, marathoner Molly Barrett supplied tutus to her fellow runners — including One Run co-founder Danny Bent — who all embraced the look for amused pedestrians.
“My mom would have loved this,” Molly told the Hartford Courant. “She passed away two days before Boston. She loved when I did relays. She would have thought it was cool, people working together for one cause.”
Pongr’s Ellen and Taylor joined more than a thousand runners at Newton City Hall late Sunday night, navigating the last eight miles of the Boston Marathon course through the dark until the wee hours on Monday.
Ellen had trained for the infamous Heartbreak Hill by running hills over the past month, but right around Mile 6, she was overcome with fatigue.
“At that very moment, celebrity Danny Bent ran by with his American flag shorts. He looked at me and smiled,” she recalls. “It made me remember how far everyone has come and how proud I was to be able to participate in such an amazing event. When the Citgo sign came into view, it gave me my second wind. Approaching the finish line, with everyone cheering and giving high fives, made me all giggly and emotional.”
“Seeing and feeling a community come together is unlike anything else,” adds Taylor. “As I ran, people came out of their homes, stopped their cars and cheered every runner on — yelling ‘Boston Strong!’, ‘Thank you!’, and ‘You’ve got this!’ Cars drove past honking, with people hanging out of their windows cheering. It was amazing to witness.”
California businessman John Odom was also waiting at the finish line — just like he was on April 15th when he was looking forward to seeing his daughter Nicole stride past him. Odom’s leg was severely damaged from one of the pressure-cooker bombs — and he has undergone 11 surgeries so far. At the end of One Run For Boston, he and his daughter crossed the finish line together.
(You can still help Boston Marathon bombing victims by donating to One Run For Boston.)