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A pair of local runners took part in a pair of stretches for a special cross-country campaign last week.
Bill Dunn and Frank Cherne took part in the One Run for Boston relay. Participants in the One Run pass a torch from runner to runner, going from the West Coast to the East Coast.
Cherne and Dunn both took the torch and made a run at Palo Flechado Pass outside of Taos going toward Angel Fire.
Dunn, a member of the local multi-sport group, the Triatomics, said he saw that the torch was going nearby and he and Cherne jumped at the chance to take part.
The One Run for Boston started as a fundraiser and awareness campaign to help those affected by the bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April.
On April 15, a pair of homemade bombs went off as runners and spectators were watching the end of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 250.
The One Run for Boston started June 7 in Los Angeles and is scheduled to arrive in Boston June 30. The organization’s website said more than 1,000 individual runners will be taking part, running in stages of approximately 10 miles apiece.
The event is similar to some held across the pond in the United Kingdom. In fact, a run in London shortly after the Boston Marathon attack went to aid the victims of that tragedy.
Many runners, Dunn included, feel it’s important to let it be known to those that might commit such acts as the one in Boston that even tragedies such as that won’t thwart them.
“My point is I want to send a message to those people who would disrupt that,” he said. “We’re going to run and we’re going to have fun regardless of what people like that can do.”
As of Friday afternoon, the organization’s website said it had raised more than $61,000 for Boston Marathon-related charities.
Runners were heading toward St. Louis and ready to cross the Mississippi River.
Rather than a flame, the One Run’s torch is more like a baton with a GPS tracking device in it. Those interested in keeping tabs on the progress of the torch can track it on the organization’s website, onerunforboston.org.
The torch passed through northern New Mexico, going near Española and Taos before veering off toward Eagle Nest Lake State Park and Cimarron Canyon State Park. The course then dipped down toward Tucumcari and followed Interstate 40 into Texas and Oklahoma.
Dunn said he and Cherne, knowing how isolated some stretches of the trek can be, actually went online and found a pizza restaurant that would deliver to the middle-of-nowhere Oklahoma so those taking part in that stage would have something to eat when they got finished.
Throughout the trip through New Mexico, One Run organizers Danny Bent and Kate Treleaven traveled with the torch and would even carry the torch when bearers came up short, something which happened more than once in the western part of the country.
“They never stop,” Dunn said of the organizers. “Those folks were amazing. I don’t know when they sleep. I don’t know when they eat.”