The One Run For Boston cross-country relay, which last year raised $91,000 for the One Fund Boston to help the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, is expected to reach Milford April 12.
There are plenty of opportunities for local runners and supporters to get involved, according to a press release about the run.
The 3,300-mile route is divided into 336 stages across 14 different states. Most stages are around 10 miles with some as long as 22 miles. Each stage can accommodate up to 25 runners. Group stages in some of the major cities along the route including Van Cortland Park in New York City are five miles or less and designed to encourage mass participation of 100 or more runners.
Local runner Stephen Kraffmiller, a native of Milford now living in Waltham, Ma., has signed up to run the final two stages of the relay from Waltham to Boston on April 13.
Kraffmiller said, “I ran this event last year when the shock was still raw. It took place only about 10 weeks after the bombing at the Boston Marathon finish line. I think we wanted to show that the running community was strong and would not be broken.”
He said it was an incredible experience.
“I ran the second to last stage, which finished at the Newton (MA) City Hall around the 19-mile mark of the marathon course,” Kraffmiller said. “I ran alongside people who had run all the way from the border of Connecticut and Massachusetts to the Boston Marathon finish line in Copley Square some 50 miles or more.”
Last year was about resiliency and community, he said, and the effort raised over $90,000 for the One Fund to benefit survivors of the bombings and their families.
“This year’s goal is to raise even more money and to raise awareness that the needs of the survivors will last the rest of their lives,” Kraffmiller said.
Interested runners can sign up to run one or more stages of the relay at onerunforboston.org. Once registered, each runner is given their own online fundraising page which enables them to collect sponsorship for the One Fund Boston. So far more than 1250 runners have signed up to run and between them they have raised over $275,000. Supporters may follow the relay via a live tracker map, photo gallery and blog.
Three friends from England — Danny Bent, Kate Treleaven and James Hay — are the driving force behind the relay, which was first organized in June 2013 in response to the Boston Marathon bombings.
Danny Bent said: “We wanted to do something to help those impacted by the blasts. We had no idea if the relay would work, let alone take off in the extraordinary way that it did.”
Over 2,000 runners took part in One Run For Boston last year, some traveling hundreds of miles from their home states to take part. They kept the baton moving around the clock through scorching deserts, lightning storms and torrential rain.
Kate Treleaven said: “One Run For Boston had a profound effect on many of the runners who took part. So, when it was over, they didn’t simply walk away thinking ‘that’s it, job done’. We soon realized that the relay had forged a new community of runners, powered by positivity and united by a desire to support the One Fund Boston in its ongoing mission to help those impacted by the bombings.”
This year the One Run For Boston relay started from Santa Monica, Calif., on Sunday, March 16. It is scheduled to reach Boston on Sunday, April 13, two days before the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.