San Diego residents Jenn Simpson and Melissa Kirkham are organizing a memorial run called “Boston Strong San Diego.” Participants will gather at 6pm in De Anza Cove Park.
“The thing with runners is we’re a family,” said Kirkham. “It doesn’t matter whether it happened in Boston. It could have happened here in San Diego.”
The idea came from a similar event organized by a blogger in San Francisco. Pavementrunner.com is urging cities everywhere to organize runs for Boston.
The event will begin with a moment of silence. Participants will then hit the pavement surrounding Mission Bay. It doesn’t matter if you run or walk. Organizers say it’s simply about showing support.
“It’s really our time to show everyone,” said Kirkham. “To show the nation, to show Boston that we are Boston Strong even in San Diego.”
Many of the bombing victims were spectators. Simpson said it’s important to now support the people who always support them when racing.
“Spectators are what make our sport,” said Simpson. “We couldn’t do it without them. There’s nothing quite like turning a corner after you’ve been climbing a hill and you’re just out of breath and you just feel done. And seeing a spectator there with the silliest sign ever and it just makes you want to run harder, run faster, finish your race and do even better.”
With each step, participants will send a message that San Diego is mourning with Boston during this time.
“I’m just going to be thinking about,” said Simpson. “It’s incredible how we can just band together and come together and really support Boston in this way.”
A Facebook page is set up with information about the Boston Strong SD event. Organizers are asking participants to wear a race shirt or blue and yellow in support of Boston.
If you’re unable to attend Monday’s event, another event is being organized for June to aid the victims. The Jewish Federation of San Diego County is hosting the Super Hero 5k and BBQ on June 9.