Ahwatukee residents, Dianna and John Sanders, both laced up their running sneakers and participated in the second One Run for Boston Thursday evening in Tempe.
One Run for Boston began in Santa Monica at 1 p.m. on March 16, and is scheduled to come to an end in Boston at 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 13.
The non-stop marathon is a 3,328-mile relay, and is formulated to support the survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Last year’s One Run for Boston generated more than $91,000 for the One Fund, assisting survivors and families impacted by the bombing, and this year’s goal sits at $1 million and is expected to draw more than 2,000 runners.
The marathon travels through different states from coast to coast such as California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Last year, Dianna and John participated in the inaugural One Run for Boston when they were in California, running in the fifth stage.
They initially were competing in a different event and heard about the One Run for Boston and made the decision to participate.
“We were honored to do so because the bombings had happened a month before, so we did that then, and this year when it was available we signed up as soon as we could for the Tempe stage,” Dianna said.
Dianna and John ran in the 53rd stage in Tempe, which was a 10-mile run circling Papago Park and crossing the Western Canal Trail.
“The stage before us is a really big group stage, and the event’s founders are actually running that stage with about 50 people or more,” Dianna said.
Their training regiments consisted of weekend 10- to 15-mile trail runs around Ahwatukee, and currently training for other competition that will occur in Arizona.
“We mapped out the course; we ran it a couple times to know where to go and where the streets are,” John said.
Although Dianna and John compete in different running competitions throughout the year, One Run for Boston seemed to hold a special place in their hearts.
During their stage, the couple sported Boston Bruins hockey jerseys, in honor of 8-year-old Martin Richard who was killed during the Boston bombing.
“His story was moving of course, because I have a nephew close to that age,” Dianna said. “He was a big fan of the Bruins, and we just wanted to honor his message. One of the last photos that were taken of him before he died was a poster he made saying, ‘Peace.’ That moved us… and I know the funds that we are running for will be going to his family.”
John said by running in their stage, he and his wife were doing their part to keep Richard’s message alive and pass it around to other people.
For more information about One Run for Boston, visit www.onerunforboston.org.
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