By Chris Lotsbom
(22-Apr) -- On Monday, organizers of the Lilac Bloomsday Run in Spokane, Wash., announced that 50,000 bracelets will be distributed to participants sporting the message "Bloomsday Stands With Boston." Purchased by Washington Trust Bank --a sponsor of what is America's largest 12-kilometer road race-- the bracelets are intended to help runners unify with those impacted by last week's terrorist bombings at the 117th Boston Marathon, which killed three spectators and injured over 170.
"We were looking for a way to demonstrate our unity with Boston and the Boston Marathon and to show our sympathy for those who died or were injured," said Steven Jones, President of the Lilac Bloomsday Association, in a statement. "We also wanted to recognize those near the bombing site who rushed into harm’s way to help and the brave work of marathon volunteers, first responders and law enforcement to deal with the aftermath of the bombing and to work so diligently in solving these heinous crimes."
The "Bloomsday Stands With Boston" bracelets are just one of countless examples of remembrance towards the April 15th, attacks throughout the running world. At last Sunday's Virgin London Marathon, athletes were given black ribbons, which many wore on their vests to honor the victims, and the 35,000 runners observed a period of silence before the race. In New York City's Central Park, runners wore ribbons and bib numbers which said "I Run For Boston" at last Sunday's City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks. For the Lilac Bloomsday Run, the bracelets are a token symbolizing strength and community.
"With these bracelets, Bloomsday runners will be able to say that we are with you, Boston, and that we, like you, will stand strong and won’t give in to those who perpetrate such atrocities,” said Jones.
The lilac-colored bracelets will be passed out to all entrants in the Marmot March, Junior Bloomsday and Bloomsday events when the check-in at registration, and are on a first come, first serve basis.
The Lilac Bloomsday Run is in its 37th year, and annually sees more than 45,000 finishers. In 2012, Kenya's Allan Kiprono and Ethiopia's Mamitu Daska won the $7000 first-place prize; Daska finished 12th in 2:33:31 at this year's Boston Marathon.
PHOTO: The 2013 Boston Marathon finish line on Sunday, April 14, the day before the race and the terrorist attack (Photo by Chris Lotsbom for Race Results Weekly)