The recent release of the movie “Patriots Day” reminded us of how sports can converge in the real world with tragic results. As you might remember, it was 2013 when the Boston Marathon (run on Patriots Day) was forever scarred by two blasts that went off near the finish line. The tragedy killed three and injured 264.
Among those killed was 8-year-old Martin Richard, there among the spectators with his family. It’s a timely reminder, because Dave McGillivray, the race director for the Boston Marathon, sent out an email this week on his run to remember Martin.
“Since April 15, 2015, almost every race I’ve run, I’ve dedicated to and run in memory of Martin Richard,” McGillivray writes. “This year will be my 45th Boston Marathon (he usually runs the course after the race has ended). My son, Max, is running his first Boston Marathon this year.
“We both are running on behalf of MR8-the Martin Richard Foundation-which supports and emphasizes things like togetherness, teamwork, fairness, sportsmanship, inclusion and simple acts of kindness, and strives to encourage youth and adults to improve the lives of others and become bridge builders, peacemakers, leaders and entrepreneurs.”
MR8 is having its kickoff for 2017 on Friday, February 4 at Fenway Park, usually with the governor of Massachusetts and mayor of Boston in attendance. While Dave is asking those in the running community to support MR8, the support for the foundation has been region-wide, including Boston Parks and Recreation, which is building a universally accessible park and playground at Children’s Wharf to honor Martin.
It seems senseless to have such a tragedy mark such a joyous occasion like a run. But Martin’s family and indeed, the running community and the Boston area, have turned a tragedy into a positive. If you’d like more information on Dave McGillivray’s fundraising efforts, visit https://www.crowdrise.com/mr8boston2017/fundraiser/davemcgillivray.