BOSTON (CBS) – Outside Marathon Sports on Boylston Street, runners began to gather. “We all wanted to be here,” said Maria Zullo. Zullo is a member of the store’s weekly running club, a group of 40 or so who meet here every Wednesday night.
“This is the first time in a couple of weeks that we’ve been able to do our Wednesday night run club,” said Dan Soleau. Soleau is the Brand Development Manager at Marathon Sports, and stood on a bench in front of the store when the first bomb went off.
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“I woke up on the ground just lying in a sea of glass,” he said. “The healing process is going to take time for all of us and we’re all going to do it in our own way.”
One very powerful way happened as Soleau looked on. “There is strength in numbers,” he said as the crowd later grew to roughly 300, made up of clubs from other Marathon Sports locations and others who heard about this return to the Back Bay and wanted to take part.
As store manager Shane O’Hara addressed the group, he reminded of why the night was so important. “We are obviously running for a reason so please every step every mile you guys remember why you are running. Never forget that. We are able to run when there are others who are not,” he said.
After that, long time group member Barry Sussman presented O’Hara with a plaque adorned with a marathon medal. “To Shane and the Boston Marathon Sports team, we’re proud and grateful for everything you do for the Boston community,” Sussman read.
It was a touching tribute to O’Hara and his dedicated staff, there when the marathon finish line turned into a nightmare. “That’s wonderful,” O’Hara said fighting back tears.
“Every moment they’re taking that step they need to remember that. Why we’re here. We need to be better humans and we need to have more respect for people and bad people don’t win,” he said.
Marathon Sports has seen tremendous support since its store reopened. O’Hara noted runners from Australia who came in to show solidarity. “The running community is such a tight bond,” he added. To find out more about the Marathon Sports running clubs, go to www.marathonsports.com.