WASHINGTON - Imagine running for four days from D.C. to Boston. That's what two runners are doing so they can hand-deliver money raised for the victims of the Boston bombings.
"And also raise more money on the way," says Frank Fumich, of Arlington, one of the runners making the trek.
The bombings rocked Fumich. "I just realized that it could have been my family standing at the finish line getting injured," he says.
Days after the bombings, he ran three back-to-back marathons, totaling 78.6 miles, to raise money for the victims. "Specifically to raise money for the Richard family, who lost their eight-year-old son, and Jeff Bauman, who lost both his legs," he says.
Now he's running to the finish line of the Boston Marathon along with his buddy, Matt Nelson, of Lake Worth, Fla., who is also an extreme marathon runner. Nelson, a former Marine Corps major, also echoed the fear that it could have been his family hurt at the finish line on April 15.
Nelson says he ran three marathons, symbolic of the three people who were killed in the actual blast. An MIT police officer was shot and killed later several days after the bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
"The most appropriate way to deliver the money would be to run it from D.C. to Boston, literally."
Their journey began at 6 a.m. Tuesday. They will run from the Sept. 11, 2001, memorial at the Pentagon to the finish line of the Boston Marathon. That's 450 miles nonstop. The runners will alternate every 26.2 miles; one will run while the other rests. They will have a support crew following in a van.
The fundraising efforts were so successful that the original goal increased from $26,200 (one marathon is 26.2 miles) to $52,400 (two marathons are 52.4 miles). They've reached that goal and are now shooting for $78,600 (three marathons are 78.6 miles).
Nelson says runners are free to join them at the Pentagon Tuesday morning as they start. They will run across the Memorial Bridge, past the Capitol and then into Maryland, where they'll be met by Maryland State Troopers for an escort.
Nelson says they will have a police escort for most of their trip. In New York, they will run past Ground Zero and around the new Freedom Tower.
Once in Connecticut, they will head to the Rhode Island border, where they will run with five Rhode Island state troopers who ran in the Boston Marathon this year. From there, they head to Massachusetts where they will be escorted by both Massachusetts State Police and Boston city police.
Fumich and Nelson will run the last 26.2 miles together. They are expected to arrive at the starting line of the Boston Marathon about 6 a.m. on June 1 and the finish line about noon, and will present the checks later.
Follow Fumich and Nelson's route north and learn more about their efforts at standunitedrununited.org.
See video below of the runners' starting off Tuesday morning:
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