Monday, May 20, 2013

Brilliant Design + Knoxville Running Tradition = Support for Boston

The tragedy at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

While my heart goes out to those affected by the tragedy, I don't know that there is anything insightful or inspiring I can say that hasn't already been said.

Ironically, this was the first year I'd planned to follow the Boston Marathon. Being new to running and understanding how challenging and how rewarding it is, I have a whole new respect for these athletes. I had planned to follow the times and stories of the top finishers, who have taken on a distance and speed I can't even imagine accomplishing.

...But then I heard about the attacks. It's hard to imagine why anyone would want to hurt people, especially during such a happy, exciting event that celebrates the honest values of hard work, athleticism, and emotional and physical victories. 

However, I also heard the outpouring of stories of people helping and supporting each other during the tragedy. All sorts of people - observers, staffers, even finishers - rushing to help those who had been injured.

I think back to how I felt after running my first half marathon. I was overwhelmed emotionally as I tried to grasp what I'd just accomplished, yet I was so physically exhausted all I could do was collapse on the ground and try to take it all in.

I can't imagine running twice that distance at a pace I can't even sustain for a mile (Boston qualifying times are no joke), then staying focused to help people who had been injured.

These people are real life superheroes.

It also speaks to how supportive runners are of one another. The Knoxville running community is no exception. As soon as we heard about the tragedy, Knoxville runners came together to look for ways to help. Donating, planting a tree, and running miles in honor of those affected by the tragedy are just some of the ways Knoxville runners showed their support for Boston.

The Design

My friend and designer of the CSRS blog, José Salas, immediately looked for a way he could use his abilities to help. A two time Boston qualifier after years of training, José is quite the accomplished runner! However, he's one of the most friendly, approachable people you'll meet. His passion for the sport, positive attitude, and encouragement and kindness towards others is inspiring. I've known him for a few years, and he was one of the first people who encouraged me when I shared I wanted to begin running.

Also a very talented designer, José applied his talent to create a special graphic design for Boston. In his own words, "I created the design as a tribute in hopes of helping the running community heal and a way to show their Boston support."

I was impressed with the design (so cool!) and his immediate desire to do something positive. He ordered a test run of shirts using this design, and my husband, Brandon, and I were excited to obtain a couple of these shirts. Check it out!

I wore mine to running practice a couple of weeks ago, and got a lot of attention!

Where did you get that? Who designed it? Where can I get one?


How to Get It

While the shirt I have was part of the test run and not for sale, there is a way you can get a shirt featuring this design.

The Knoxville Track Club is incorporating this design in the shirts for the 36th annual Expo 5K/10K race this Memorial Day weekend on Saturday, May 25. This year, the KTC is partnering with The One Fund Boston to donate $2.50 from every entry to help those affected by the tragedy in Boston.

If you're in the area this weekend, this is a fabulous race to attend. It was the first 5K race I fully ran last year (which you can read about here). It's a longstanding tradition in Knoxville, and a fun, family-friendly event attended by runners of all ages and levels. I had a wonderful time participating and socializing with fellow runners, and highly recommend it!

If you're interested, you can learn more about the event here.

Also here are direct links to the registration sites:
Even if you're not able to make the race, you can donate to The One Fund Boston through the race registration site.

Thank you, José, for contributing your talent and inspiring runners, and thank you, KTC and Knoxville running community, for letting me help spread the word and supporting runners here and everywhere!


*I was not compensated by the KTC for this post, nor is the KTC affiliated with this blog in any way. I am sincerely impressed by this effort and helping to get the word out. The views expressed in this article are solely my own.

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