Trending News Monday: #BostonStronger

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Today, 36,000 runners gathered at the starting line of the 118th Boston Marathon. Last Patriots’ Day, tragedy struck the city of Boston and the running community when two terrorists detonated two bombs near the finish area of the world’s oldest annual marathon. The marathon, along with the hashtags #BostonStrong and #BostonStronger, have been trending this today, so this Trending News Monday, we’re highlighting some of the stories surrounding the event.

American Male Wins for the First Time Since 1983

Former UCLA cross-country star, Meb Keflezighi, won the 2014 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:08:37, his new personal best. This marks the first time in 31 years that an American has finished in first place for the men. The 38-year-old runner suffered an injury last year and consequently did not compete in the 2013 Boston Marathon; however, he was present (leaving the finishing area only five-minutes before the bombs went off), and he has had his mind set to win the marathon since the attacks.

“It was not about me. It was about Boston Strong,” Meb Keflezighi told the Boston Globe.

Keflezghi’s win this Patriots’ Day has made him an American hero of sorts. The Olympic silver medalist and former New York Marathon winner began life as an unlikely prospect to become a long distance running star. Keflezghi was born in Eritrea in 1975, and his family came to America as refugees 12 years later. It was then when Keflezghi got his start in running at his middle school. While competing for UCLA In 1998, Keflezghi became a naturalized US Citizen, and his success has been one of the American Dream.

Of the win, Keflezghi said, “I’m blessed to be an American and God Bless America and Boston on this special day, Patriots’ Day. I could not think of a better day than for it to happen.”

Boston Stronger

While the Boston Marathon is a widely popular event—and Patriots’ Day is a public holiday in Massachusetts—this marathon was more popular than the typical year, drawing 9,000 more runners than average and a record one million spectators to the 26.2 mile course. The one million strong crowd personified the resilience and the spirit that has been driving Bostonians since the bombs detonated.

If any city can go through such a traumatic event and come back stronger, it’s Boston, where resilience is in the fabric of the city and has been since the American Revolution’s first battles, Lexington and Concord. Boston was then written into history as the city from which the shot was heard ‘round the world.

The Boston Athletic Association organized for several survivors to join marathoners who were running on their behalf in the final stretch so that they too could cross the finish line, reports the New York Times. One of survivors, Heather Abbott, ran the last half-mile of the course after losing her leg during the attacks last year.

Nike+ and Its Running Community Rally to Raise Money

Even runners who didn’t take part in today’s marathon have had a chance to run for a good cause, thanks to Nike. Through its running community, Nike+, an App and website where athletes can track their runs and progress, Nike is encouraging runners to track miles to raise money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF).

Nike has given the Nike+ community two opportunities to help them rally behind CAF: from April 18 to today, Nike pledges to donate $100 for every mile logged on in-store treadmills at Nike Boston, and for every mile logged on the Nike+ App today and tagged with #STONGEREVERYRUN, Nike will donate $1 up to a total of $150,000.

According to a Nike press release, “We wanted to create a way for the larger community to show support for Boston by challenging our Nike+ community members to get out and move for an important cause,” said Ken Dice, VP and GM of Nike North America Running. “Whether it’s one mile or 26.2, our hope is that everyone will run for Boston April 18-21.”

Today, people aren’t just standing with Boston, they’re running with them.

Cover Photo Source: Hang Dinh / Shutterstock.com

Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.