Local runners react to Boston Marathon tragedy

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, April 16, 2013

(Photo credit: MGN Online / Twitter)
(Photo credit: MGN Online / Twitter)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- It's a tragedy that has runners across the nation shaken up.

"It's really hard to process, it's really hard to understand why somebody would do this up there," said Jenafer McCauley, co-owner of Fleet Feet Sports in Augusta.

It is a familiar feeling for everyone around the nation after several explosions shook the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon.

And for local runners like Jenafer, it hits home.

"We had a few people come in last night right after it, somebody's niece was up there, somebody knew a couple of other people up there as well, and they were just really concerned, I mean, everyone just wanted to make sure everyone was OK that they knew," she told News 12.

She and her husband own a business that's all about running and says the running community here is shaken.

"We had several people up there that we knew, so we were really worried," she said.

Her husband and business partner, Michael, didn't make it to Boston this year but has run the marathon in the past.

"I mean, it's a landmark event, you know, it's a lot of runners' dreams; it's a bucket list event for people," he said.

"He stayed in a hotel that was just right across the street there," Jenafer said.

While in Boston, Michael stayed in the hotel right by the finish line where the explosion happened.

"I have friends that were actually staying at that hotel this year -- it's crazy, it's devastating," he said.

Over 26,000 runners were scheduled to compete this year and at least nine of them were from right here in the CSRA.

"We're fortunate, as far as we know, no one from the CSRA has been injured or killed," he said.

Fleet Feet canceled its weekly Monday run because of the tragedy, but next Monday, the run will be in honor of the Boston Marathon.

"I think it will be huge, hopefully, I hope that runners and walkers alike can come, we're going to do 2.62 miles because a marathon is 26.2 miles," Michael said. "We're also going to have a moment of silence."

And they're doing all of this to send a message.

"We can show that we are not afraid, and we are a strong running community," Jenafer said.