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A group run in Branford this Saturday will be dedicated to those attacked at the Boston Marathon.
The run is one of two being organized by a local business with direct ties to an iconic Boston runner's shop directly in the bomb zone on Boylston Street, where two explosions rocked the Boston Marathon finish line April 15.
"This deeply impacted our running community," General Manger Preston Ranton of SoundRunner (Branford, Old Saybrook) told The Sound. "We were recently acquired by Marathon Sports, which is down on Boylston Street. They're part of our family."
He noted Marathon Sports employees acted in a "heroic manner" on April 15, quickly assisting in the fallout during the tragedy. Employees who found themselves at the epicenter of the aftermath quickly helped the wounded entering their store. They brought water and tended to shocked, injured people struck by flying glass from broken windows and worse; applying compresses using shirts, and even their own belts, to tie off serious wounds until first responders could take over, according to news reports. No store employees were injured.
Marathon Sports operates at several locations, including its iconic store at the Boston Marathon finish line, in the heart of Copley Square (671 Boylston St.) Open at that location since 2001, Marathon Sports has become a part of the race celebration, with tens of thousands of tourists and locals visiting over marathon weekend. Marathon Sports acquired SoundRunner's two Connecticut stores in January, 2013, said Ranton.
Both Connecticut businesses are well-loved by local runners; and during the days following the April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon, "…we've had a tremendous outpouring of customers coming in to show their support. It really hit everyone. We're glad we've been able to be here to act a sounding board to anyone this event has made an impact on," said Ranton, speaking to The Sound on April 19.
Ranton developed the idea for this Saturday's "#Boston Strong" solidarity run. The run begins at 8 a.m. and leaves out of both stores in Branford and Old Saybrook on Sat. April 20, for loops of between three and five miles, depending on the location. The run is open to the public, but pre-registering at www.soundrunner.net is requested to give organizers an idea of how many runners to expect. Runners can show solidarity by wearing Boston Marathon colors or any Boston Marathon attire or other Boston-centric items.
"This is part of our regular running group which is open to the public all the time. We just wanted to create an event to acknowledge Boston and show our support," said Ranton.