The Double Decker Spring Run had more than 1,000 people taking to the streets of Oxford Saturday morning.
The annual event is always a highlight, but this year the run took on special meaning as locals and visitors alike had their minds on the victims of the April 15 bombing at the Boston Marathon.
“I was thinking about it just because it was kind of a theme for everybody here to just think about Boston and it’s been ya know in a lot of people’s thoughts and prayers this last couple weeks,” said Benjamin Dawson, Oxford resident.
Dawson, who ran all through college, came up with the winning time in the 5K. He says the bombing at the marathon has changed things for runners everywhere.
“It makes you more aware of your surroundings when you’re running. It’s not something you would ever imagine, anywhere, but if you’re going out for a run it doesn’t seem like a high priority target, so that’s what makes it so diabolical.”
Neal McCready sported a Red Sox jersey during the run as a sign of his support for the people of Boston.
“I’m not from Boston, I’m not even a Red Sox fan. I just was like anybody else in the country, just kind of touched by what happened in Boston,” said McCready.
He, like many others, has been thinking about some of the people whose lives were lost or forever changed by the bombing.
“You know as a father of three kids including a little six year-old boy, I was just really stuck by the story of the little eight year-old boy that died,” said McCready.
I know it doesn’t mean anything; it doesn’t do anything for anybody there or make anything better. It’s just my little way of you know, I guess a tribute to those people, that kid in particular.”
Runner Kelsey Durocher is from Boston herself, so the run had special meaning for her.
“It makes you realize it’s a privilege to be healthy and be able to do stuff like this and just run for all those victims; that’s what they loved to do and some of them can’t do that ever again. “
Most of the runners shared a common belief that it’s important to think about the bombing victims and their families, but not to live in fear.
“If you live like that you kind of give in to them. And you certainly hope that most people are good and I think if you see the fallout of what happened in Boston you see proof of that in every single story,” McCready ––By Stephen Quinn, senior broadcast major and Deb Wenger, journalism professor, Meek School of Journalism and New Media