How do you respond to an incident as horrifying and heartbreaking as the Boston Marathon bombings? For the running community that found itself suddenly trying to comprehend how its beloved sport could become the focus of so much destruction, the answer was to come together and run. On April 17, runners across the world put on their blue and yellow to show solidarity and support for those affected by the attack.
Race organizer and runner Chris Field saw an opportunity to commemorate the outpouring of support with Run For Boston, a fundraising book made with Blurb. The book is a testament to the dedication of the running community. Field is donating the proceeds from the book to the One Fund of Boston and Blurb is donating one copy of each book sold (up to 200) to survivors of the attack.
We got a chance to ask Field about the project and about how the bombing affected the running community.
Blurb: What were your first thoughts when you heard about the Boston tragedy?
Field: As human beings, we were heartbroken. As runners and race organizers, we were devastated. This tragedy was very, very real for us. That was us and our runners out there running. Those were our family members at the finish line who were injured.
Blurb: How did the idea for turning the movement into a book come about?
Field: We honestly didn’t have much of a formal plan. We wanted to find a way for people to get connected and do something to show their support by running together all over the world, but we also wanted to some visible and tangible reminder for all of us after the event. Something to hold onto and look back on when those days came that we needed to be reminded how beautiful humanity could be when we worked together for something larger than ourselves.
Blurb: While the bombings in Boston have touched all of us, how has it affected the running community specifically?
Field: I think runners took this very personally because it was our sacred space that was violated. The finish line of any race like this looks the same. The barricades, the banners, the finish line clock. So when we watched those videos, and saw the terrible pictures, we saw ourselves in them. That hit really close to home for all of us.
Blurb: It’s pretty incredible to flip through the book and see all of the individuals involved. Were you surprised by the turnout?
Field: In short, yes. We hoped that a few thousand people might join in. We were shocked and pleased when more than 25,000 did. We just got back an analytics report done by a professional group that said more than 26 million people saw the information about the Run For Boston campaign between April 16 and April 22. That just blows our minds and makes us so proud to be a part of something so amazing.
Blurb: This whole project came together very quickly, it seems. How did you do it?
Field: Ha, who knows? Those few days are just a blur. We just put the info out there, and it really snowballed and took a life of it’s own. We would also say that God was gracious to us and honored our big dreams to try and help people begin the healing process.
Blurb: How will the proceeds be used?
Field: All of the proceeds will be given to the One Fun of Boston charity.
Pick up a copy of Run for Boston in the Blurb Bookstore (also available as an ebook for the iPad). It’s a great testament to the power of people to do good in the face of bad. It’s also a great opportunity to support a fantastic community.