It was an overwhelming and unexpected response to Breakaway Running's spontaneous organization of their Run to Honor Boston in Memphis. Nearly 500 people turned out in their running shoes and Boston gear.
"It makes me so happy," says Angie Zinkus, one of the Memphis runners at Monday's Boston Marathon, "This is probably the first time this past five days I've actually been happy and been able to smile at an effort like this because the people of Boston were just wonderful, wonderful fans."
On Friday, Zinkus and her fellow mid-south Boston Marathoners ran, not a marathon for themselves, but a 2.62 mile run for Boston alongside hundreds of fellow mid-southerners, many like Caroline Azzone that are new to running.
"If the people that were in Boston can finish, surely I can do 2.62 and just keep them in my mind that if they can finish and they can get through everything they went through after 26 miles then I can make it around the park," says Azzone.
The run was organized in less than five days; Breakaway Running came up with the idea to sell "Run for Boston" shirts as a fundraiser the day of the run.
Three-hundred of the shirts arrived Friday at run-time hot, off the press, and sold out in less than one hour. They sold for $10 meaning Breakaway Running is sending $3,000 to Boston Marathon victims.
"‘The One Fund' was originated by the governor of Massachusetts as well as the mayor of Boston. The New England Patriots are matching funds up to $100,000 and so that's where our money's going," says Breakaway Running Owner Barry Roberson.
For those who did not receive Breakaway Running's "Run for Boston" shirt and want one: don't despair because the shop is taking sizes so they can order more. They already expect to order nearly 300 additional shirts, meaning additional fundraising for Boston victims.
Those wanting a shirt can visit Breakaway Running at 1997 Union Avenue in Memphis or call their store a (901) 722-8797.