As has been the case at other major sporting events, a 26-second moment of silence was held to remember the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings prior to the start of Monday's Boston Marathon. Victims of the Newtown, Conn., massacre were also honored along the course with a special marker at the 26th mile.
That marker was not far from where a pair of bombs exploded, killing three people and wounding 144 others. But while some of the families of the Newtown victims were reportedly seated in a VIP area near the finish line, none were reported injured.
Six runners ran the race as part of Team NewtownSTRONG, a scholarship fund benefiting the siblings of the victims from Sandy Hook Elementary School—with each mile dedicated to a different victim.
"In the first 20 miles, we're honoring the 20 Sandy Hook first-graders [who were killed]," Laura Nowacki, a spokesperson for Newtown Strong, told WBUR radio before the race. "When we crest Heartbreak Hill and we're coming back towards Boston, we run the final six for our six fallen educators."
According to a post on the group's Facebook page, all six finished the race before the bombings and were not among the victims.
"I just got a text message from one of our runners letting me know that they are all safe," the post read.
There were at least 12 runners from Newtown among the 27,000 who registered for Monday's marathon, according to the race website. Ed Lucas, a 41-year-old from Newtown, finished the race and was already back at his hotel when the blasts occurred.
"I just couldn't believe someone would do that to the Boston Marathon, where you have so many different nationalities of people, so much camaraderie," Lucas told USA Today on Monday. "Even at the pasta dinner last night, they told us, 'Make sure you help each other out.'"
Tom Abrams, a 58-year-old from Newtown, ran the race in honor of the shooting victims. Abrams did not finish, but was not among those injured.
“It’s awful that anyone was hurt or killed, but ... I’m glad that nobody from Newtown was killed,” Abrams' wife, Lisa, told the New Haven Register. "[While that may be] horrible to say, Newtown has had more than its fair share. I think it would be extremely sad if we had an event to honor the victims, and then we have more victims.”
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