About 36,000 runners will take off from Hopkinton to Boston on Monday, many of them running in honor of the victims of last year's tragedy. Credit: Reuters
Their lives were taken during last year's Marathon and its aftermath, but Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi and Sean Collier will certainly not be forgotten when the 118th Boston Marathon begins Monday.
Scores of runners will cross the starting line in Hopkinton Monday morning and embark on a 26.2-mile journey to Boston in honor of the victims.
One hundred runners were chosen to participate in the 2014 Boston Marathon as part of Team MR8, which is raising money for The Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation set up by Richard's parents who were also injured in the blasts. Nearly 300 people applied to be part of the team.
"The team of runners … has exceeded our every expectation," the family said in a statement a month before the Marathon. "We are blessed to have found a collection of team players that perfectly embody the values that have always been important to our family."
Campbell's parents recently announced that 17 friends and family members will run on Monday to honor their daughter and to raise awareness of the Krystle Campbell Memorial Fund. The team will wear blue shirts with the words "I run for Krystle."
More than a dozen marathoners will run to honor Campbell, the 29-year-old former UMass Boston student, as part of The Run for Krystle team. The team, as well as the scholarship fund in her name, was formed by Richard Campbell, a UMass trustee who is not related to her. Among the runners are several UMass undergraduate and graduate students.
"Krystle was not related to us and we never knew her, but we felt great kinship to her," Richard Campbell said in a recent statement that recounted how he and Krystle were both raised in Medford and went to the same schools. "And, of course, our hearts ached for her grieving parents and brother."
In honor of Lu, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate student, eight runners will aim to cross the finish line to raise money for the Lingzi Foundation, which was set up to help provide educational opportunities for "courageous, adventurous and ambitious students like Lingzi," the organization said.
Additionally, seven members of the BU community will be running with bib numbers donated by the Lu family. The money raised by them will go to the Lu Lingzi Scholarship Fund for graduate students.
Among them is Ryan Shea, a BU alumnus.
"I want to run for those who couldn't finish last year, and for those who cannot this year," Shea said in an application seeking a bib number. "I hope to make Boston even stronger and prouder than ever on April 21, 2014."
Joining those runners will be the more than three dozen people running the Marathon as part of the "MIT Strong" team.
The team is made up of runners representing students, faculty, staff and alumni to commemorate the life of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.
Besides celebrating the spirit and strength of the school community, part of the team's goal is to support MIT's Collier Memorial Fund.
"We run for Officer Collier," the MIT Strong team webpage said. "And we run to celebrate the compassion, courage, and generosity shown by the MIT community in response to violence and tragedy."