Vegas group will run Boston Marathon to honor 1 October victims - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Vegas group will run Boston Marathon to honor 1 October victims

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Runners from Las Vegas are heading to the Boston Marathon to honor 1 October victims. (FOX5) Runners from Las Vegas are heading to the Boston Marathon to honor 1 October victims. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Nearly two dozen runners from Las Vegas have been getting ready for the Boston Marathon. The group said they’re doing this to honor 1 October victims and to spread the message of Vegas Strong, across the country.

On Thursday, the group started at the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign then ran five miles to Sunset Park. That’s less than one-fifth the distance of the race they will do in two weeks.

The runners are heading to the Boston Marathon: one of the most iconic races, and also, one marked by tragedy.

“Boston was one of many communities that reached out to us after 1 October,” Clark County commissioner James Gibson said.

“Boston was a resilient community and we will be as well,” runner Melissa Olivas said.

This year marks five years since the Boston Marathon bombing. So this team said it wants to show they are both "Boston" and "Vegas Strong."

“Let the world know that we stand strong with Boston and other communities that have endured similar attacks,” County Commission chair Steve Sisolak said.

Some of the runners have close ties to 1 October like Ryan Turner. His mom was at the concert when he was called in to help as a first responder.

“We’re running hopefully to provide hope to the survivors, families, communities,” he said.

Others said they are running to send a message of resiliency.

“We all want to help each other,” runner Tamara Finley said. “I think all events like this, although they're traumatic and horrible, they bring out the best in people.”

The runners are working with the county and the Resiliency Center.

“We’re sponsoring a Resiliency Center team at the Boston Marathon as our outreach efforts to anyone affected by 1 October, no matter where they live,” Gibson said.

[Full FOX5 coverage of 1 October]

Through their marathon training, they said they hope to reach and inspire 1 October victims, who may need help.

“When you run, it always gets difficult,” Olivas said. “But you know if you push, you will get past the difficulty. And I think that's what everyone can carry over into their life.”

They said they are excited to honor the 58 lives lost in a city, unified through tragedy and hope.

“I’m going to put 58 hash marks on my arm so that when it does get difficult, I'll look down and think of those victims and I'll be stronger when I run,” Olivas said.

The Boston Marathon is on April 16.

The oldest runner in this group is 79 years old and a three-time cancer survivor.

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