Claremore Daily Progress

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April 2, 2014

Collinsville woman participates in ‘One Run for Boston’

CLAREMORE — As the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings approaches, runners near and far pause to reflect on the tragedy that killed three people and injured more than 250 others.

Some pause, some run.

Among those running in honor of those affected by the bombings is Collinsville resident Colleen Wilson. Her run is about more than just running in commemoration.

As a participant in the second One Run for Boston, Wilson took literal and figurative steps to help raise funds for the survivors of the bombing.

“Basically, One Run for Boston is a non-stop running relay from Los Angeles to Boston, in aid of the One Fund Boston, which benefits the victims and victims families of those affected by the bombings at last year’s Boston Marathon,” Wilson said.

“Since its formation immediately after the April 15, 2013 bombings, One Fund Boston has continued to be a resource for those who lost loved ones, survivors, and their families, many of whom continue to have financial needs due to injuries or who require long-term care.”

For her participation in One Run for Boston, Wilson — also an advisor at Rogers State University — began her leg of the marathon at Catoosa’s Blue Whale, where (runner) Rick Wilson handed the “torch” (a baton) to her, which she carried into Claremore, along SH66, before handing it off to another runner, Megan Kale-Cheever of Arkansas.

“Rick passed the torch to me very late Sunday night — kind of a ‘midnight run’ — so it was in the middle of the night, but my husband, Tony was following me with his (car’s) lights flashing the whole time to make sure cars didn’t hit me,” Wilson said. “We may have backed up some traffic in the construction between the Catoosa and Verdigris areas, but we did our best to stay out of the way. I’m sure a lot of drivers wondered what the heck was going on.”

Wilson said she first began running years ago to get into shape and has since participated in several half marathons, four marathons and one ultramarathon.

“I run four or five times a week now, even when I’m not in training (for a marathon),” she said. “When I learned that the One Run for Boston would be coming through Rogers County, I knew I had to be involved in it.”

One Run for Boston participants raise money by way of sponsorship, with proceeds directly benefiting One Fund Boston.

Even though Wilson herself doesn’t know any person affected by last year’s tragedy, she said the solidarity shared amongst runners is strong.

“The running community is a very kind one, very supportive of one another and very generous, and the Boston Marathon is something to which we all kind of aspire — it’s the pinnacle of marathons for all runners,” she said. “For something so horrible, so tragic to happen at an event that’s about (runners) from all walks of life coming together for a single purpose ....it’s tragic, and I ran my stage of the One Run (for Boston) to remember the bombing victims.”

Thus far, more than 1,770 runners have raised just over $300,000 towards the $1 million goal, which organizers hope to reach by the April 15 deadline, when the last runner reaches Boston, Mass.

To sponsor a runner or to learn more about One Run for Boston, visit www.onerunforboston.org/index.asp.

To learn more about Wilson’s stage of the relay, visit http://www.onerunforboston.org/stage/168/.

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