EUGENE, Ore. — The 2013 Eugene Marathon took place less than two weeks after the Boston Marathon tragedy, which gave this year’s race a special meaning. Crowds lined the streets to show support for runners and for the people of Boston.
Runners wore black ribbons during the race and held their hands over their hearts while crossing the finish line.
For two runners who ran in the Boston Marathon, this support from the running community wasn’t surprising.
Stephanie Bruce lived in Eugene for three years and was a top finishers in the 2013 Boston Marathon. Bruce participated in the pre-race festivities, which brought back memories from the Boston explosions.
“I got a little emotional cause Eugene holds a special place in my heart, I was just thinking about the day you know being out there,” Bruce said.
Craig Leon was also a top finisher in the 2013 Boston Marathon and currently trains in Eugene.
“I don’t know if we’ve really had a chance to process what happened, but it’s awesome that we’re able to kind of honor what happened there and just share our stories about how we were involved,” Leon said.
The nearly 8,000 runners stood for a moment of silence to pay respect to the lives lost in the bombings.Crowds of runners and spectators also wore light blue and yellow t-shirts from past Boston marathons.
“It’s unbelievable, there are certain characteristics that runners possess that you know, they’re just cut from a different cloth,” Leon said.