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Running To Honor Boston Bombing Victims

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The tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombings is being felt all over the United States and on Saturday, runners in Sioux Falls proved they refused to let the terrible event define them.

“When I heard the first explosion it didn't really sink it what it was for sure. I thought maybe fireworks were going off or a cannon," said Jamie Erger of Sioux Falls.

Erger says she'll never forget the day she and her father Mike crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon. It’s a goal she's dreamed of accomplishing her whole life, but she never imagined it would become a tragic event.

“When the second one went off, I noticed everyone's expression and I knew something wasn't quite right,” said Erger.

Thankfully, Jamie and her father weren't injured, but she said she refuses to let this act of violence stop her from living her life.

“I think because of what happened makes me want to go back even more and do it again someday," said Erger.

On Saturday, the duo, along with nearly a hundred others, ran in another marathon, but this time it was a run for joy.

“The people who were running the Boston Marathon, that's what they were doing, and there's a very small number of people who want our joy to stop and frankly I don't want those people to win,” said Associate Professor of Philosophy at Augustana College, Dr. David O'Hara.

To honor those involved in the bombings, O’Hara decided to organize a special run in Sioux Falls, a 2.62 mile mini marathon he calls the ‘Joy Run.’

“I wanted to run a 1/10 of a marathon and a marathon is 26.2 miles, so 2.26 miles, and I thought let's start at 2:62 P.M. Well there isn't a 2:62 P.M., that's 3:02, so I thought we'll just switch the numbers around," said O'Hara.
At exactly 2:26 P.M., runners, young and old, laced up their tennis shoes and made their way around Augustana's campus.

“I don't want our lives to be based on fear. I want our lives to be based on good things and these people that are here, these are some of the great things to base your life on," said O'Hara.

Each participant was asked to make a donation to a non-profit organization that promotes public good or cares for those who are suffering.

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