Thousands of runners and their supporters took to the streets of Boston on Saturday to complete last month’s marathon that many were forced to abandon after two bombs exploded near the finish line.
A pack of runners carried three US flags and one Chinese flag while raising their arms defiantly as their feet pounded rain-drizzled pavement.
The run, organised by local running groups and businesses and publicised over social media, was billed as ‘OneRun,’ with the slogan, ‘we’ll get our finish’.
“Boston will run strong. Boston will run together. Boston will run as one,” organisers said ahead of the event. Some 3,000 people participated.
Another 35 runners who were unable to finish the marathon were set to get a ceremonial finish in front of thousands of fans at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Speedway officials said Boston Marathon participants from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio will run about 0.8 kilometres from turn four to the circuit’s iconic Yard of Bricks finish line shortly before the start of the Indianapolis 500.
“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, Indianapolis Motor Speedway 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.”
Speedway officials extended the invitation through the Boston Athletic Association, the marathon organisers who then contacted non-finishers in Indiana and surrounding states.
Two brothers, 19-year-old Dzhokhar and 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, are accused of being behind the April 15 attack that also wounded more than 260 people.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shoot-out with police, and Dzhokhar was captured and taken into custody after a manhunt.