He hasn’t run the Boston Marathon since 1990, but, said Bristol resident Joseph Malloy, there’s a sense of camaraderie among all runners who conquer the 26.2 mile route. And when tragedy, like last week’s terrorist attack on the historic run, occurs, it affects the entire running community.
“I passed that spot. I can visualize it,” he said of the location of the recent blasts.
Although he no longer runs, at 82 years old, Mr. Malloy isn’t going to turn a blind eye toward the new generation of runners who unwittingly became victims of the attack.
Like many Americans, Mr. Malloy was glued to the newscasts from the moment of the blasts to the apprehension of the suspect.
“You hear that they lost their legs. You can picture yourself there,” he said.
As he flips through a scrapbook of clippings that document races he’s run in the past. He mentions his friends, all runners who participated in the Boston marathon, the Newport marathon or any number of local races. Names like George Lima, Jr., Charles Collins, Jeff Chace, Bob Tavares, Bill Mayer, and Brenda Kelly are included on the pages yellowed newsprint that he keeps inside a photo album. Old training schedules show the rigorous path that took him from Bristol to Heartbreak Hill where, he said, “You can hear the roar. It gets louder and louder” as the cheering crowds provide energy for the runners to finish.
“It’s awesome,” he said pausing. “But we had innocent times.”
Just as he and the runners in his circle of friends supported each other, he hopes that others will support those who became victims simply by being in a race he finished six times before. Mr. Malloy learned about The One Fund Boston, a foundation started “to raise money to help those families most affected by the tragic events that unfolded during Monday’s Boston Marathon.”
“They are part of our family – they’re runners,” he said.
Although Mr. Malloy no longer races, he hopes other former and current runners will offer support by contributing to One Fund Boston or any number of funds set up to help marathon bombing victims. Donations to One Fund can be sent to One Fund Boston, Inc., 800 Boylston St. Boston, Mass. 02199