Joe Parizek and Luke Ennis run on SW. 59th in Mustang just east of the SW. 59th/Clear Springs Road intersection on Saturday morning. The two participated in the One Run for Boston cross-country relay, which started in Los Angeles and made its 3,300 mile journey to Boston to raise funds for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. The runners were escorted by a Canadian County Sheriff’s Deputy.
By Jon Watje
Runners took to Mustang-area streets to raise funds for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.
The second annual One Run for Boston cross-country relay made its way through the city on Saturday morning and Mustang residents Tom and Diana Love made sure not to miss it.
The couple was in Boston on April 15, 2013 to support their son Nick Seymour in the marathon the day of the bombing.
"It was my first time to run in the marathon and I finished about an hour and a half before the bomb went off," Nick said. "By the time the bomb went off, my parents and I were already a good distance from it."
Fortunately, the three were not injured by the explosion near the finish line. However, that day left a lifelong impression on them.
"We had this helpless feeling for those that were injured and we wanted to do something to help the victims," Tom said.
Last year, the One Run for Boston Relay was organized to raise funds for victims and made its way from California, through Yukon, Oklahoma on its way to the east coast.
Tom and Diana took part in the relay with Nick, along with their daughter Alicia. This year, they were excited when they learned the relay would be going through Mustang this time.
"Not only is it a little more convenient for us, but this is something that can bring the community together to help us with the healing process," Tom said.
A family of runners
Running is something that Tom and Diana Love enjoy with their son Nick and daughter Alicia.
"Alicia was the one that actually started to get into it first," Tom said. "She told Nick one day that she was going to run a marathon and Nick told her she was crazy. They are both very competitive and have always competed against each other in everything so once Alicia started running, Nick soon followed and became the maniac he is now."
Nick has become quite the runner as he has competed in not only marathons, but 50-mile and 100-mile races. He currently holds the course records for the Tulsa Snake Run and the Tatur’s Midnight Madness 50 Mile Road Race.
"For me, running is something that is fun because it is competitive and healthy," Nick said.
After their children began running, Tom and Diana followed suit.
"Diana told me she was going to start running and I followed along and didn’t think it would be that bad, until I went down to Wild Horse Park to run a mile and almost ran myself to death," Tom said.
Now, Tom and Diana are seasoned runners and have competed in several half-marathons.
Running for Boston
With the second annual One Run for Boston Relay making its way through Mustang, the family of runners could not miss it.
The relay route was divided into 336 stages across 14 states with most stages being around 10 miles long with some up to 22 miles.
Tom signed up to run Stage #149 of the relay from Minco to the intersection of State Highway 152 and Banner Road near Mustang.
At the last minute, Nick signed up to run the same stage with his father.
"My wife was expecting to have twins and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to miss that," Nick said. "So when I knew I was in the clear, I signed up about an hour before the relay."
Tom and Nick took the relay baton in Minco on Saturday morning and made their way towards Union City from Minco and then went west on SW. 89th Street towards Banner Road, then went a mile north to the end of the stage at S.H. 152.
"The police advised us to run on 89th rather than State Highway 152 to stay away from the traffic," Tom said. "The road was gravel, which is actually better for your joints although it slows your pace down."
Once they got to the intersection of S.H. 152 and Banner Road, Tom and Nick handed the baton to Joe Parizek and Luke Ennis, who are friends of Nick. They carried the baton through Mustang on SW. 59th.
Diana ran in the group stage in downtown Oklahoma City before the baton made its way northward towards Edmond and then eventually out of the state towards Boston. Runners are expected to carry the baton into Boston on Sunday, April 13, the day before the anniversary of the bombing.
Running for Healing
Organizers and participants of the relay are hoping to raise $1 million for bombing victims. So far, they have raised approximately $300,000.
"Each runner is given a goal to raise $250," Diana said. "You don’t have to raise that much, but some people actually raise thousands of dollars themselves."
Three people from England, Danny Bent, Kate Treleaven and James Hay, are the driving force behind the relay, which was first organized in June of 2013.
"We wanted to do something to help those impacted by the blasts," Bent said. "We had no idea if the relay would work, let alone take off in the extraordinary way that it did."
All the money raised goes into the ‘One Run Fund’ for bombing victims.
The event also gave back to Oklahomans who were affected by the devastating tornadoes last year.
"The organizers kept all the money raised in Oklahoma for the relay to go towards tornado relief, which was great of them to do," Nick said.
Nick, along with his parents, say they expect to run in the relay every year.
"If they keep doing it, we will be there," Nick said. "This is something that hit close to home for us."