Danny Bent, Kate Treleaven and Jamie Hay were hunkered in their rural home in Devon, England last month, listening to a radio broadcast of the Boston Marathon when news broke of the brutal bombings.
"Everything went silent," said Bent. "We looked at each other and said, 'We have to do something.'"
And do something they did. In three weeks, more than 1,000 runners from across the nation will join together for One Run for Boston, a 3,000-mile run across 14 states, to raise money for the One Fund.
It will be the first ever nonstop running relay across America, and will culminate with the final passing of a baton in Boston.
The three-week relay kicks off June 7 in Los Angeles, and is slated to end June 30. The group run will be broken up into 300 stages.
Each runner makes a contribution to The One Fund Boston via their $50 entry fee. So far, the event has raked in $3,000, but the trio is hoping to raise as much as $300,000 by the end of the relay.
According to Bent, small businesses and media outlets have started to take notice, and are surprised to hear the British accent on the other side of the phone.
"They quite appreciate the British angle, and that people on other side of the world are really interested in helping out," said Bent, 34. "It’s always quite charming when they hear our accents. Kate’s got a very lovely accent. People ask, 'Are you in LA?' or 'Are you in Boston?' but really we live in a tiny little quirky village in Devon."
It will be the first trip to the U.S. for Hay, 22, who chuckled when asked about the run's resemblance" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> to fictional film character Forrest Gump.
"We Tweeted (Tom Hanks). We haven't heard back; still waiting for a response," said Hay, adding the trio would "love to get Tom Hanks on the run."
The lengthy relay starts in Venice Beach, then heads through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and finally, Massachusetts.
New Mexico's dry terrain is one of the most concerning, Bent said.
"We're focusing on New Mexico. We haven't managed to engage people there yet. There is a lot of desert," he said.
The race will be split up into 300 hundred stages - the shortest stint is three miles and the longest is 26. Massachusetts' stages are each five miles long. There is a limit of 25 runners per stage. Organizers will follow behind the runners by car.
"We were initially expecting 1,000 runners, but the response that we've gotten in Boston and the surrounding area has been so positive, we're thinking that number could increase," Bent said.
More information is available on the group's Facebook page, One Run for Boston.
This Saturday, a running event with a similar name will bring together thousands of Boston-area runners, who plan to finish the final mile of the Boston Marathon.