MENTOR, Ohio -- Runners united for a special memorial service Tuesday honoring the victims from Monday's bombing attacks at the Boston Marathon.
About 300 people laced up their sneakers and gathered at Mentor High School for a candlelight vigil and one mile run.
Bill Dennison, owner Second Sole in Mentor, organized the event.
“On the news, they’re talking about the little boy who died waiting for his dad to finish the marathon. It chokes me thinking my daughter starting to run and how many times she’s been at the end of a race waiting for me to finish,” said Dennison.
Runners came from as far away as Mansfield and Ashland, and two marathoners who had just come from Boston were also in attendance.
Both men had already completed the race about an hour before the bombs went off.
“It’s just real shocking that something that’s of high spirit and high community like Patriots Day in New England can be disrupted like this," said Jeff Lancaster.
Many of Jeff’s family members have run the marathon, and others traveled to Boston for the race. Fortunately, he said none of them were hurt.
Another racer, Jim Mann, was already back at his hotel when the bombs went off.
He, too, was distraught by the news and said he was planning on returning to the finish line, but luckily he stopped to grab lunch with some new friends.
Later that night, Mann said he went outside, and the race course looked like a war zone.
“I talked to a National Guardsman, and he said 'don’t let them scare you so you can’t go about your business and support the city of Boston'.”
Both men said they will continue supporting Boston, and they plan to qualify and run next year's race.
Everyone at the vigil in Mentor agreed. They said runners share a unique bond and that marathoners are inextricably linked with each other and the crowds that cheer them on to the finish line.
They hope that continues at races across Ohio and the country, so that the terrorists don’t win.
For extended coverage on the Boston Marathon explosions, click here.