Thousands run final mile of Boston Marathon

AFP, NEW YORK

Mon, May 27, 2013 - Page 1

Thousands of runners and their supporters took to the streets of Boston on Saturday to complete last month’s marathon that many were forced to abandon after bombs exploded near the finish line.

A pack of runners carried three US flags and one Chinese flag while raising their arms as their feet pounded rain-drizzled pavement.

Two of the victims of the twin bombing were American, and a third was Chinese.

The bombers are accused of killing a fourth person, an Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, days later as they attempted to evade arrest.

The run, organized by local running groups and businesses and publicized over social media, was billed as “OneRun,” with the slogan: “We’ll get our finish.”

“Boston will run strong. Boston will run together. Boston will run as one,” organizers said ahead of the event.

About 3,000 people participated, the Boston Globe reported.

Another 35 runners who were unable to finish the marathon were set to get a ceremonial finish in front of thousands of fans at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway yesterday.

Speedway officials said Boston Marathon participants from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio will run about 0.8km from turn four to the the circuit’s iconic Yard of Bricks finish line shortly before the start of the Indianapolis 500.

“The tragedy last month in Boston still resonates with everyone, so we wanted to give runners the chance to finish the race in front of thousands of fans who will appreciate their persistence and determination,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway chief operating officer Doug Boles said.

“Everyone will remember the victims while also celebrating the strength and indomitable spirit of these special competitors as they cross the hallowed Yard of Bricks,” he said.

Speedway officials extended the invitation through the Boston Athletic Association, the marathon organizers who then contacted non-finishers in Indiana and surrounding states.

Two brothers, 19-year-old Dzhokhar and 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, are accused of being behind the April 15 attack that also wounded more than 260 people.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police, and Dzhokhar was captured and taken into custody after an extensive manhunt.