Tuesday runners met outside the Big Peach Running Store in Decatur around 7:00 a.m. to take part in a “Mile of Silence” in honor of those impacted by the bombings at the Boston Marathon.
“Oh, it was awful,” lamented store manager Katie Price, who said store employees watched the live coverage of the race on television. “I mean, we had a lot of people from Big Peach up there… They were working the marathon, so you’re just kind of… surreal. Just, it hit too close to home.”
Employees at the running specialty chain decided late Monday night they wanted to show their support for their fellow runners by hosting runs at each of their locations. According to Big Peach’s Twitter feed, more than 250 people ran at stores located from Decatur to Kennesaw.
Chris Watkinson has completed two marathons and said he felt for everyone involved.
“It was one of those things that was just sort of really disheartening,” explained Watkinson. “ It definitely hit you hard because you think about the end of a race being something that should be like joyful and people like accomplishing something—something especially as big as like the Boston Marathon where for a lot of us like you know, it’s our goal to run Boston or New York’s like that. For someone to sort of take away all that joy that you should have at the finish line was kind of hard.”
Runner Stephanie Batson said she found out through Facebook that all of her friends running the marathon were safe, but she wanted to run the “Mile of Silence” for those who were not as lucky. Batson described the thoughts going through her head just before the run.
“All the lives that were affected up there, the community, the people,” Batson shared. “Just that this awful, horrendous tragedy happened for no reason whatsoever.”