On Monday, April 22nd, over 550 runners and walkers took to the Turkey Creek Greenway to unite with other runners and walkers across the United States in support for the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy. The run began at the store, Fleet Feet Sports Knoxville, and the participants chose between a 2.62 or 4.15 distance. The free event was organized to raise donations for the The One Fund, set up by the City of Boston's Mayor and Governor, to help aid the victims of the bombing.
We were lucky enough to have Nike help us with this event, by providing the shirts that we sold to add additional proceeds to the donation. The Runners for Boston shirts have been a huge hit, allowing us with monetary donations and shirt sales, to donate over $7,000 to The One Fund, thanks to the running community of Knoxville. Fleet Feet is teaming up with Graphic Creations for the screening of the shirts. Jim Caughorn, Graphic Creations' owner and a long time Fleet Feet runner, was all about donating their production services so that more of the proceeds can go to the victims. We are so excited to see the community come together for a great cause, and we can't wait to see the shirts around town; just another way of uniting the running community.
Fleet Feet Knoxville owner, Shahin Hadian, said of the event, “We know that people are reeling from this tragedy and don’t know what they can do to help, which is why we have organized this walk and fundraiser - so that people could have an outlet and come together as a community. It was a tremendous event, and probably one of the best ones we have been able to be a part of.”
While the runners and walkers gathered together before the event began, pastor John Stuart of Erin Presbyterian Church, gave an empowering invocation, and allowed everyone to take a moment of silence and reflection "for everyone affected by this tragedy, for the people of Boston, and for those who will continue to hold on to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness throughout this great nation of ours and across the world." Ending it with the declaration, "TODAY, WE ARE ALL BOSTONIANS! AMEN." could not have been a better send off for the runners and walkers.
As the healing process continues, mere words can’t possibly relay our sadness, heartache and anger in response to these events. But we will not let the acts of a few take away our passion. This is a time for the Fleet Feet Sports community to come together and be resilient. Our brand manifesto speaks to who we are and how we continue to respond. We trample down walls. We bring a nation to their feet. We ignite hearts and inspire emotion. And we are unstoppable. We cannot thank you enough for being UNSTOPPABLE with us!