As a unique and inspiring prerace ceremony, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials held a marathon to lend the chance for Boston marathon runners to ‘finish the run’ that they started back on April 15, 2013. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway invited the Boston Athletic Association and the runners from the Boston marathon that were never able to finish the original run due to terrorist bombings. All of the runners were also gifted tickets to the race.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is known for their patriotic Memorial Day weekend celebrations. This served as a chance for the runners to symbolically finish that race, proving that despite the horror, the terrorist actions haven’t taken the spirit of those runners.
“The tragedy last month in Boston still resonates with everyone, so we wanted to give runners the chance to finish the race in front of thousands of fans who will appreciate their persistence and determination,” said Doug Boles, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s chief operating officer. “Everyone will remember the victims while also celebrating the strength and indomitable spirit of these special competitors as they cross the hallowed Yard of Bricks.”
And that they did, in true American fashion carrying American flags and giving out high fives to pit crews as they ran down pit lane emotionally touching those of the crowd who celebrated the runner’s finish with standing ovations. The runners ran from Turn 4 to the finish line and when they reached it, the official Indianapolis 500 green flagged was waved.
“Closure. Healing. It’s been a whale of a last six weeks,” 47 year old runner from Mason City, Illinois, Briseno said at the track Sunday morning, a few hours before starting the run. “So I’m looking forward to finishing this and putting this chapter of my life behind me. So this is a real blessing.” Briseno is a pastor in Mason City and was one of 35 Boston Marathon participants to take part in the festivities today.
The two pressure cooker bombs that went off at the Boston marathon killed 3 people and injured 264 people. Those individuals will always be remembered.