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Jacksonville running community pulls together after Boston bombing

10:37 PM, Apr 15, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Facebook photos of local runners registered for the Boston Marathon

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The running community in Jacksonville is a tight-knit bunch.

And immediately after the Boston Marathon explosions, they swarmed to social media -- Facebook and Twitter -- to make sure everyone from here was safe.

"It's really sad. You just don't feel safe anywhere," said Jacksonville Running Company owner Owen Shott

He was frantic when he heard the news of the blast.

He knew more than a dozen runners in Boston for the race, including his employee Jesse Patterson.

"He's up there with his wife, he finally got word back that he was OK," he said.

Members of the Jacksonville running community run in the same races year after year, rooting each other on from wherever life takes them after Jacksonville.

"I have a buddy in Spain, who kept calling me. He's good friends with Jesse, and Paul, and Josh, and all of our friends who were there, and he just kept saying, you have to let me know. He was frantic," he said.

By the end of the day, all the runners Shott knew in Boston were physically well and accounted for.

But emotionally, he said the road to recovery will be longer than that finish line in Boston.

"A marathon race, it's a tough day, it's hard to get through it, that's what you should be worried about, not 'is my family OK,'" he said.

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