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MailTribune.com
  • Oregon running community responds to Boston bombings

    Tribute to victims to take place tonight on Portland's waterfront
  • PORTLAND — Oregon runners will assemble on Portland's waterfront this evening to pay tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
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  • PORTLAND — Oregon runners will assemble on Portland's waterfront this evening to pay tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
    The Portland Triathlon Club has invited the community to take part in a run to "support and remember our athletic friends, families and fellow competitors" in Boston.
    The gesture in response to the tragedy was one of many in Oregon, which has a rich track and field history and a tight-knit community of runners — including 351 residents who took part in Monday's Boston Marathon.
    Gov. John Kitzhaber asked that flags on all state buildings be flown at half-staff, and Mayor Charlie Hales ordered the same for Portland municipal buildings.
    In Southwest Portland, Julie Allen paused during her run Tuesday briefly to talk about the bombings which killed three people, including an 8-year-old boy, and injured more than 170.
    "It's like you can't not think about it out here today," she said. "I'm by no means a marathon runner, but you can't help but feel a connection."
    The PTC has asked those participating in tonight's run along the Willamette River to wear black bands on their shirts or black arm warmers, and Boston Marathon gear if possible.
    "Let's make this thing huge and show how tied together we are as a community from the best running state in the country. Power is in numbers and healing is in community," the PTC board of directors said in the open invitation.
    Additionally, the Portland Marathon announced Tuesday that it will memorialize the Boston bombings at the annual event on Oct. 6. Security measures will also be reviewed.
    "We will dedicate our Portland Marathon in October to the memory of all those impacted by this tragic Boston event. And we will provide all our finishers with a token that carries forward the remembrance of those who suffered in Boston," marathon director Les Smith said in an email.
    On Monday night, organizers of the Eugene Marathon scheduled for April 28 said they will continue to hold the event. Race officials say they will work with local law enforcement to ensure the safety of runners and spectators.
    Eugene is widely known as "Track Town" for its rich track and field history. Hayward Field at the University of Oregon, where Steve Prefontaine became one of the sport's legends, hosted the 2012 Olympic trials and will host the event again in 2016 before the Rio de Janeiro Games.
    TrackTownUSA, the group which brings events like the Olympic trials to Eugene, issued a statement on behalf of President Vin Lananna expressing grief over the bombings.
    "We are deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred in Boston today, and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this horrible incident," the statement said.
    Olympic marathoners Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher, who both ran in Boston on Monday, live and train in Portland. Flanagan finished fourth and Goucher finished sixth. Craig Leon, who is from Eugene, finished 10th in the men's race.
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