WOODSTOCK — The Covered Bridges Half Marathon will go on in spite of Monday’s tragic events at the Boston Marathon.
About a dozen organizers met on Wednesday at the Woodstock Recreation Center to talk about the upcoming half marathon June 2. But what really occupied their minds were the Boston Marathon runners.
Race Director Mike Silverman said he learned about the bomb explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line while talking on the phone with another committee member.
According to Associated Press reports, two bombs detonated 10 or more seconds apart on Boylston Street, killing three people and injuring more than 140. No suspects were arrested as of Wednesday evening.
According to Silverman, 33 percent of this year’s entries in the Covered Bridges run are from the Boston area. He assured that the course will be safe and will be patrolled by law enforcement.
“I think there will be runners from all over who need to feel comfortable and we need to be supportive of their concerns about what happened. We want them to enjoy their sport,” Silverman said. Committee members voiced their approval of a commemoration, similar to the 802 Strong campaign. The 802 Strong logo was developed by Studio 56 of Burlington and appeared on T-shirts, bumperstickers and more.
The money raised through 802 Strong supported the Vermont Community Foundation and the Barnard General Store, according to the 802 Strong Facebook Page. The committee suggested a Boston Strong concept and will be discussed at the next organizational meeting.
“We want to show camaraderie and compassion. We want them to know that we’re aware and not oblivious to it,” Tad Nunez, Hartford Parks and Services Director, said.
The Covered Bridges Half Marathon route begins at Suicide Six Ski Area in South Pomfret and passes by four covered bridges. They are the Meadow, Middle and Taftsville Covered Bridges in Woodstock and the Quechee Covered Bridge in Hartford.
Hartford Deputy Police Chief Leonard Roberts said the Windsor County Sheriff’s Department will patrol the starting line area and Hartford Police will be at the finish line. Woodstock Police will also patrol the course route in Woodstock.
“We probably will have a few more officers than usual this time,” Roberts said. “There’s an organizational meeting coming up in a matter of days and we’ll determine where to go from there.”
Committee member Charlotte Lanahan of Pomfret was skiing at Killington when the two bombs detonated at the Boston Marathon finish line. Lanahan met up with a friend from the Boston area and her friend said her daughter was at the finish line where the bombs went off and was safe.
Lanahan was stunned upon hearing the news. Last year’s Covered Bridges Half Marathon occurred after Tropical Storm Irene and many people were putting the natural disaster behind them. With the Boston Marathon attacks, Lanahan said it is important for everyone to feel safe and have fun.
“We want it to be an uplifting experience,” Lanahan said. “(What happened in Boston) isn’t going to stop people from running. This is going to be a big run for so many people.”
Entries have sold out for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon but a limited number are available by running for local charities. For more information visit www.cbhm.com/Charities.
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