The front window of Breakaway Running has turned from a display of their merchandise to a memorial of the Boston Marathon.
"It's the most known marathon in the world and it's also probably the most status of any marathon in the world," says store owner Barry Roberson, "Memphis does have a pretty good Boston tradition that people don't know about. We have jackets from years past Bostons, we have Mike Cody's shoes he wore in the 1977 Boston Marathon."
Memphis had a presence at the most recent Boston Marathon where two explosive devices went off at the finish line, killing three people. Luckily, Mid-South runners went unharmed, including those Roberson trained.
Roberson says he was on the phone keeping track of them the entire day, adding, "We heard and saw the explosion. We really started to try to track everyone down and, of course, the thing about the end of a marathon, some people are still on the course, some people are already back at their hotels."
Now Breakaway Running is sprinting ahead with their own 2.62 mile run – a play on the 26.2 mile marathon – to remember the lives lost and honor the heroes from the Boston Marathon tragedy.
"It's not all bad. There was good that came out of Boston that Monday; people ran good races and worked hard to get there," says Roberson.
They hope the race brings closure to many who have called the shop looking for just that.
"As much a sense of healing for those of us that weren't there … and I think the grief from that situation has affected everyone whether you run or not," says Roberson.
The Run to Honor Boston was scheduled for Thursday, but because of the potential for severe weather it is being moved to Friday. The race begins and ends at 6:15 p.m. on Friday at Overton Park's Rainbow Lake Pavilion. Nearly 300 people are expected to attend so far.
During Friday's race, Breakaway Running will give away their Mike Cody and Paul Sax awards to the first male and female finishers from the Mid-South in Monday's Boston Marathon. Cody and Sax were two of the best performing Mid-Southerners at past Boston Marathons.