RED SPRINGS — On the day of the Boston Marathon, Brent Tyler could be found running.
The Red Springs resident wasn’t in the city that hosts the annual event the he dreams of participating in. He was on a treadmill at Lifestyle Fitness Center, where he had flicked on Sports Center.
At about 2:50 p.m. on April 15, Tyler remembers scenes of death and gore flashing across the screens as breaking news of a bombings at the marathon began appearing.
The first feeling was anger. He then began experiencing pain for fellow runners, members of a sport that binds people “almost like a fraternity.”
“I hold it dear to my heart, because it’s like a brotherhood,” he said.
The story of Martin Richard, an 8-year-old and the youngest victim of what has become known as the “Boston Marathon bombings” hit Tyler the hardest. He wanted to do something to help his family — and decided a 5K would be a fitting tribute, and an effective fundraiser. With the help of Mike Jimenez, manager of fitness services for Southeastern Health, Tyler’s wish is on track.
“I head about it and I desperately wanted to be a part of this event,” said Jimenez, who has completed the Boston Marathon in the past, but did not participate this year.
“I just want to pay homage to the people that didn’t end up crossing the line, or couldn’t cross the line,” Jimenez said. “Some of us are able to finish and we take it for granted.”
The run has been scheduled for May 18 at the Lifestyle Fitness Center in Red Springs. The rain date is May 25. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and last two hours. Runners and walkers will take off at 10:30 a.m.
Fees are $25 for 5K pre-registration, and $30 on-site. Pre-registration for the fun walk is $20, and on-site is $25.
All fees or donations from the event are being deposited into an account that has been set up at the Red Springs branch of Lumbee Guaranty Bank, Tyler said. After the event, a check will be directed to the Martin family.
“You know, it’s nice to raise money for all the victims of the bombing, but it’s also good to direct it towards a specific family,” he said. “I started wondering: What can we as a community do to help this family?”
Tyler said what he had envisioned as being a 60-person run has grown to about 200 people. He said he’s seen interest from people in Hoke, Cumberland and Bladen counties, and that “it’s a large-scale community event, so everybody can say ‘I had a part in that.’”
“We’re just trying to bring awareness, and just trying to help this family out,” Jimenez said. “Money can’t bring back the son, but it can certainly help with expenses.”
For information, call Tyler at 910-734-6161 or email email@example.com.