An estimated 2,000 runners and supporters showed Wednesday night to run along the Willamette River in support of the city of Boston.
Many wore white running tags that read “Boston 4-15-13,” to mark the date of the deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon. Some participants had no direct connection to Boston, but said it was important for them to send a positive message.
Pamela Campos is a native Bostonian and Air Force veteran. She was wearing a Boston Bruins T-shirt and Red Sox cap. She held a big sign that read “In solidarity, Boston strong, from Portland.” She says the Boston Marathon is a tradition that will endure.
She said, “As a military member this is a little bit of a — it hits close to home — I’ve seen this in different areas, but for it to hit my home, it hurts. But I mean the city of Boston is really tough. We are really proud of our traditions, of our teams. So I don’t think they’ll be swayed. I mean it’ll hurt, but I think it’ll only make us stronger.”
Campos says her family attends the Boston Marathon every year. She says she just confirmed Wednesday that none of her familymembers were hurt by the bombs at the finish line.
Kevin Jandreau grew up in New England and had lived in Boston before moving to Portland recently. He attended Wednesday night’s run wearing a t-shirt from a 2010 race in Boston.
He said, “Just very happy to see support in Portland for Boston. A lot of my friends were on Boylston Street, blocksaway from where the blast happened. The hardest thing right now, after seeing what happened on the news, is being so far away — just having moved out here a few months ago.”
Jandreau says he called all of his friends after the explosions at the Marathon, and they’re all OK.
The Portland Triathlon Club organized the event. It started with a Facebook post and quickly drew interest.