|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • Local charity run planned for young bombing victim

  • A Medford public defender who ran in this week's Boston Marathon is asking local runners to help honor the memory of young boy killed in Monday's bombings.
    • email print
    • If you go
      What: Run and walk events in memory of boy killed in Boston.
      When: Starts at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
      Where: Lost Creek Lake. Meet at the day use area of Joseph Stewart State Park.
      More info: Se...
      » Read more
      X
      If you go
      What: Run and walk events in memory of boy killed in Boston.

      When: Starts at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

      Where: Lost Creek Lake. Meet at the day use area of Joseph Stewart State Park.

      More info: See meetup.com/SOREnthusiasts, or email Justin Rosas at justin@sopd.net.
  • A Medford public defender who ran in this week's Boston Marathon is asking local runners to help honor the memory of young boy killed in Monday's bombings.
    Justin Rosas, a defense attorney with Southern Oregon Public Defenders and an avid marathoner, had already passed the finish line in the iconic Boston race an hour before the two bombs detonated. But post-race activities kept Rosas, his wife and his parents just 60 yards away from the blasts that killed three people, including 8-year-old Martin Richard, and injured 183 others.
    "Someone recklessly careened into our sanctuary today and made it different — but they did not destroy it as our strength and community cannot be destroyed by cramps, fatigue or terror," Rosas blogged on his Facebook page shortly after the attacks.
    Speaking to the Mail Tribune Wednesday morning while waiting for his flight back home, Rosas said he hopes others will help him create something good in the aftermath of such a horrific act.
    "Our lives will never be the same as they were before this moment, our memories will always be with those that we saw that were injured, the other runners who were there with us, and those who were senselessly murdered in the tragedy," he said.
    Supported by one of his running groups, Southern Oregon Running Enthusiasts, Rosas and others will dedicate their regular Sunday trail run to one of the youngest victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy.
    "Our charity will officially be the Neighborhood House Charter School in Dorchester where Martin Richard went to school. We will ask that all money be dedicated to a new piece of sporting or playground equipment in his honor," Rosas said, adding Martin's mother works at the school, and his surviving siblings attend it.
    The course will range from a 2-mile stroll to an 18.6-mile run around Lost Creek Lake. The run is slated for 10:30 a.m., Sunday. Participants will meet at the day-use area of Joseph Stewart State Park and depart from there, he said.
    "We ask people to carpool so that we do not overburden the facilities," Rosas said.
    Rosas began distance running while he was studying for the bar in 2007. He has since raced in more than 20 marathons. Excited to have qualified for the Boston Marathon, and to experience Patriot's Day in the historic city, Rosas decided it should be a family event. His mother flew in from Nashville. His father flew in from Baltimore. He and his wife made the trip from Medford, Rosas said.
    "I experienced joy like few other times in my life," Rosas wrote in his blog. "Running is my sanctuary. Running is the sanctuary for almost everyone who participates in endurance races like the Boston Marathon. Our Rogue Valley is home to a running culture unlike few in the country and today was one of the most important moments of my running "career."
    As he ran through the towns outside of Boston, Rosas wrote, he "dedicated each mile to one of my friends and thought about the beauty of their triumphs over the various struggles in their lives. I was astounded by the amount of support from the communities. I was impressed by my fellow runners and the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood we shared on the course."
    After Rosas finished the race, he limped over to meet his family. Elated and exhausted, Rosas gave his wife a medal made for supporters that said the best accomplishments in life are shared, not individual. The couple and Rosas' parents made their way to their car, and were approaching the intersection of Newbury and Dartmouth streets when the first bomb exploded. It sounded like "a giant metal load or object being dropped," Rosas said.
    But Rosas' father said something did not sound right to him. About 20 seconds later the second bomb detonated. Debris flew across the street. The car jerked to the right, Rosas said. "I said to my family, 'Something horrible is happening'," Rosas said.
    Huge crowds of people began running up Dartmouth Street, he said. "Several were injured, all of them in panic," Rosas said.
    The following day, Rosas struggled with his emotions as he walked the streets of Boston, wearing the marathon track jacket. Up to 100 people stopped him, shook his hand or said a kind word, he said.
    Rosas said he is determined to run the Boston Marathon again. And to help honor the memories of those who will never run again.
    "I want to come back and do it again as a show of strength, and as a way of dealing with the fear that is so shaking," Rosas said.
    More information on Sunday's Lost Creek Lake run is available at meetup.com/SOREnthusiasts, or email Rosas at justin@sopd.net.
Reader Reaction

      calendar