Boston tragedy won’t stop Parkites from running in SLC Marathon
In previous years, Park City marathoner Dan Connolly has run past the spot where bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon on Monday, so the horrors of this year’s event hit close to home, even though he wasn’t there.
This week the 34-year-old says he is undeterred from running in Saturday’s Salt Lake City Marathon.
He and a couple of friends who have finished the Boston Marathon in previous years plan to honor the victims of this week’s bombing by wearing their old Boston Marathon jerseys.
Krystina Hawryluk, another 34-year-old Park City runner who is participating in the half marathon in Salt Lake, said she’ll be thinking of the victims too.
"I’m definitely going to be sporting some Boston apparel," she said. "We really just want to have those folks in mind when we run."
Connolly added that running the SLC Marathon is the best way to honor the victims of the Boston bombing.
"As much as it’s a tragic thing for the running community, I think the best way to not let these terrorists win is to keep running," he said. "It makes me want to run (the SLC Marathon) more."
Though he acknowledges there’s a chance another attack could take place, he won’t let it stop him from participating.
"It could happen anywhere," he said. "So I’m not going to think about it too much."
"We can either live with the shadow of something like this happening again, or we can get out there and continue what we’re doing," Hawryluk, who ran in the Boston race in 2011, added.
In fact, Connolly is motivated to return to the Boston event next year to show that the American spirit can prevail over acts of terrorism.
And after posting a time of two hours, 40 minutes at the St. George Marathon in October, he’s on track to participate in the 2014 Boston Marathon, assuming he stays healthy.
Connolly expects next year’s race to be an emotional event, even more so than normal.
"I’m kind of emotional anyway," he said. "During the national anthem, I can’t not tear up. I think it has a lot to do with the butterflies before the race."
The SLC Marathon is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. on Saturday. Police will be beefing up security along the route, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
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