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April 19, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Running in solidarity with the Boston marathon

Items left at a makeshift memorial near the finish line of Monday's Boston Marathon explosions. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Items left at a makeshift memorial near the finish line of Monday’s Boston Marathon explosions.
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

After two explosions ripped through the finish line at the Boston marathon, the race was halted and thousands still running the 26.2 mile course had no choice but to draw to a close their dreams of finishing the race and collecting a medal.  Turns out that is what happened to one in four  elite distance runners participating in the marathon, according to an ABC News report.

I hope those athletes enter next year’s Boston marathon. Completing that race, or any marathon for that matter, is an important milestone from a physical and emotional standpoint. As I explained in my Friday column, holding onto the passion for distance running is difficult under any circumstance, and likely to be even more so after this week’s terrifying event. Running, or some other form of exercise, is important for our health and for reducing health disparities in different ethnic groups. In my column I mentioned a national non-profit dedicated to getting more African Americans into distance running.

Running USA, a national organization representing the running industry, tracks the demograhics for about 30,000 core runners in its 2013 Running Survey. (The group charges non-members to download the survey.)

An upcoming group run by Black Girls Run! in Seattle’s Seward Park is geared to attracting more women of color to the sport. The organization’s website has all the pertinent information.

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