Less than a week after the tragic events at the Boston Marathon, Lansing hosted the nation’s first marathon since the incident, but not without mention of the events and an increased security for the event, according to race officials.
On Sunday morning, members of the Greater Lansing community stood together to remember the lives lost and those injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon.
There were about 2,200 participants in the half or full marathons, which started and finished in front of the Lansing Center, in downtown Lansing.
On April 15, two explosions were set off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Three people died and countless others were injured as a result, according to the CNN’s website.
Before the race Sunday, participants and their families and friends gathered for a ceremony to remember the Boston Marathon victims, which included singing the national anthem, a moment of silence and recognition of alumna Virginia Beard.
Beard had only a half mile to go in the Boston Marathon before she was stopped by security because of the bombs.
“There was a ton of us who sat at the last half mile mark figuring out what to do,” Beard said. “It was overwhelming (and) emotional.”
At the Lansing Marathon, Beard was part of the ceremonies and allowed to run the last half mile of the race and received a medal.
“They let me represent Boston,” Beard said, dressed in her Boston Marathon finishers jacket and wearing ‘Boston’ ribbons in her hair.
Rather than stay away from marathons after the incident in Boston, runners came to show their support, and the Lansing Marathon’s number of participants rose about 15 percent since the Boston incident, said Pam Jodway, Lansing Marathon assistant race director.
“A lot of people came out to pay tribute to Boston,” Jodway said.
There were about 100 volunteers who signed up after the Boston Marathon bombing, Lansing Marathon coordinator Ariniko O’Meara said.
“To be deterred by an act of violence in one city, you have to keep going,” O’Meara said.
Human biology junior Nicole Soules and actuarial science junior David Brown ran the half marathon wearing “Runners for Boston” shirts they purchased for $20.
All the proceeds go to the Boston Marathon.
Participants wore Red Sox gear, the Boston Marathon’s colors of yellow and blue, and shirts with a variety of sayings to remember Boston.
They also held signs in remembrance of the deceased.
“It was great,” Brown said about the Lansing Marathon’s ceremony. “Cold, but a pretty good course.”
Jodway said there was an increased security presence at the race Sunday, and police dogs walked the course before anyone else stepped foot on it.