Barb Rose’s excitement was shattered in an instant.
“I was so thrilled and honored to cross the finish line, but it went from being a beautiful day to an awful day,” said Rose, who ran in Monday’s Boston Marathon and was part of Saturday’s Triple 8 Run for Boston in downtown Augusta.
About 500 people turned out for the 2.5-mile run in support of the victims of Monday’s bombing.
Heather DiCicco, who organized the event with WJBF-TV’s Chris Kane, was overwhelmed with the response from the community.
“I’m very much surprised and super thrilled,” she said.
The Triple 8 group typically runs eight miles Saturday mornings at the Augusta Market, but in honor of Monday’s victims, the run was shortened to 2.5 miles to mark the time (2:50 p.m.) the bombings occurred.
Many participants were part of Augusta’s running community, but there were others who wanted to show their support. Some participants walked the course.
Firefighters Tony Smiley and Alima Mims ran in their firefighting gear.
“We lost firefighters in West, Texas, and we lost fellow Americans in Boston. We wanted to go the extra mile and show people do care, at a higher level,” said Mims, who is with the Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department.
Also running was Chief Petty Officer Joe Obleton, who serves in the Navy and is stationed at Fort Gordon.
“I’m out here to show my support,” he said. “I run a lot. During the Tribute to the Fallen (a memorial run at Fort Gordon), I run all the Navy laps.”
Saturday’s run started and finished at the Augusta Market. Runners took off to the sounds of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline and crossed the finish line as the theme to Chariots of Fire played.
There was no registration fee, but donations were accepted for One Fund Boston, which will aid families affected by the bombings.