JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One week after the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon, runners gathered in Jacksonville for a run to show their support for the victims. Organizers were expecting a few hundred would turnout, but were thrilled to see more than $2,000.
Owners of 1st Place Sports Town Center store helped organiz the run to raise money for the victims and word quickly spread on Facebook. While the run was free, many paid $20 for a "Runners for Boston" t-shirt.
The crowd was huge. More than 2400 local runners joined forces Monday night with one mission.
"It's to benefit the injured and it didn't surprise me. The running community is pretty tigh- knit," said John Heisner.
Heisner said he was in a Boston hotel room when the bombings happened. He came out for this non-timed run to show his support for those who weren't able to walk away from the marathon.
"If it had happened an hour sooner, I would have been crossing the finish line when it happened."
Heisner like many of the others runners thought about those who lost their lives or were severely injured in the bombings as he ran the non-timed three to five mile course.
Doug Alred, co-owner of 1st Place Sports, said 100% of the proceeds from the t-shirts will go to the One Fund Boston. Initially, he said they expected to raise $3,000 to $4,000.
"We started out and ordered 300 t-shirts thinking if we had extra ones we'll sell them. The first few hours they wiped that out and we ended placing five different orders."
He told the crowd just how much money they helped raise.
"Thanks to your efforts we are probably going to be able to give $40,000 to the victims of the Boston Marathon."
The One Fund Boston is a fund set up by Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor, Tom Menino to help the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15, 2013. To donate directly to the fund click here.
First Coast News