The run at the University of Mary Washington’s Battleground Athletic Complex Saturday morning started as the final exam for the 22 runners in Corey Hewson’s half-marathon training class. It evolved into more than 250 members of UMW and the area community joining in a Run for Boston. So far the group has raised nearly $1,000 for The One Fund to support victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Excitement permeated onlookers, who formed a human chain as they cheered the runners at the starting line. After members of the class got a running start, the mass of participants, most of them donning Run-for-Boston T-shirts, followed sprinting behind them along the 3 1/2-mile route.
“This was the first race many of the members of my class have ever participated in,” said Hewson, coach of the UMW women’s soccer team who helped organize the Run for Boston. Hewson created the training class to encourage students of any experience level to adopt a healthy lifestyle through running.
“The smiles on all of their faces will be etched in my heart for a long time,” Hewson said. “I have participated in and have been a spectator in some of the bigger road races in the country – this by far was one of the more unique and special starts I have ever seen.”
That enthusiasm will be hard to beat when the class takes on its ultimate challenge – the Marine Corps Half-Marathon– on May 19 in Fredericksburg.
A limited supply of “Run for Boston” T-shirts is available for purchase, with proceeds donated to The One Fund. Medium and large sizes are $10 for adults, $5 for students. Contact Corey Hewson at (540) 654-1871.