Jacksonville 'Runners for Boston' determined

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Anyone who is a runner or has a family member or friend who is a runner knows they're a determined breed.

That's why so many local runners said they wanted to be a part of a four-mile run Monday to show they will not be crippled by fear and will continue to lace up and hit the road.

"I don't care if it's pouring down raining. I was determined to come out here and make a difference, because it could be our home, it could be your child or my child," said Alvin Harvey. "This is what we've all got to do is come together. There's still some good people in this world."

Harvey was one of the first in line Monday outside 1st Place Sports at the St. Johns Town Center. He's one of 2,000 runners who say they didn't think twice about being a part of the Runners for Boston event, which was mapped as an out-and-back course along Gate Parkway.

People lined up all afternoon to pick up Runners for Boston T-shirts, the proceeds of which go to The One Fund Boston, which is helping provide support for those affected by the explosions last week.

For runner and organizer David Martinson was competing in Boston at the time of the attacks.

"I was lucky enough to finish and I was lucky enough not to get hurt, so being able to kind of take a step back and remember those who were injured or killed, just to take a step back and pay tribute to them," he said.

Martinson, of 1st Place Sports, said Monday's run not only shows Boston solidarity but hope for a swift recovery for the victims and a small sense of closure.

"Now that this suspect has been caught and is in custody, being able to move on from this tragedy into some kind of acceptance and tribute as opposed to just fear and apprehension," he said.

Avid runner Brandi Preston said she was running to show the nation will not be crippled by fear.

"You definitely have to support your other runners, and you have to show that you're not scared to get out there and run and you can continue your life and you can't live in fear," Preston said.

For those who weren't able to make it to the run and want to support Boston, the Runners for Boston T-shirts are still available. They're $20 and can be found at any 1st Place Sports location in Jacksonville.