Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

May 2, 2013

On the heels of Boston

Emotional ABC Race pays tribute to marathon, injured spectators

For some, it was a chance to finish what they had started before two bombs stopped them in their tracks.

For others — including two mothers whose sons were among the injured, it was a way to honor the victims and responders who have persevered in the wake of the Boston Marathon.

More than 250 people — double last year’s field — turned out for the third annual A Better Chance Fun Run & Walk on Sunday, April 28.

This year’s event included a moment of silence honoring the Boston Marathon bombing victims, their families and the running community. It also served to celebrate the resilient and generous spirit that Boston has shown the world.

ABC student Ariel Leachman read a quote from President Barak Obama and the crowd stood in silence for the moment of remembrance. In addition, race participants wore blue and yellow ribbons and wrote words of appreciation and encouragement on a reflections poster.

Several runners who ran the Boston Marathon April 15 took to the streets for the 5K.

Gisela Yepez of Andover and her family friend from California, Katherine Hern — whose sons David Yepez and Aaron Hern were injured at the Marathon finish line — also ran the 5K side by side and shared an emotional moment at the end, embracing as they crossed the finish line together.

A portion of the $5,000 raised will be donated to the One Fund Boston.

In addition to honoring the Marathon victims, the event was also a family affair for many of the runners. Infants were pushed in strollers and multiple parent-child entrants enjoyed the race together, including A Better Chance scholar Xonatia Lee who was joined by her mother, Marsha, and brother Rhyeem, who came up from Brooklyn for the race. Rhyeem ran a personal best to come in third overall.

Other top finishers included Todd Collins, 34, of Andover, who was the first male finisher with a time of 16:35; Emily Tremaine, 27, of Arlington, the first-place female finisher with a time of 20:39; and Scott Diekema, a Phillips Academy student from Iowa City, Iowa, who won first in the under-18 category with a time of 17:47. First-, second- and third-place finishers in each division received gift certificates from race sponsor Greater Boston Running Company.

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