A local man is taking part in a massive running relay across the United States geared toward helping victims of the bombings that occurred during the Boston Marathon in April.
Tony Cable, a St. Clair High School graduate who now lives in Fenton, will be carrying the baton from Stanton to St. Clair on Friday, June 21.
“I love running, and what happened in Boston devastated me emotionally,” Cable said. “I want to help where I can to those who were affected by the horrible bombings in Boston. I grew up in St. Clair, running cross country and track in high school. I rode my bike over much of the same route several times.
“This is pretty much the first time anything like this has been done,” he said. “This is a 3,300-mile relay across the United States from Los Angeles to Boston where a single baton is handed off runner to runner 24/7 without a break during the event.”
The baton has a GPS device inside so it can be tracked as it travels across the country.
Cable said he is expecting to get the baton handed to him at about 6:05 p.m. in Stanton. He plans to reach St. Clair and pass the baton to his successor at 7:45 p.m. in St. Clair.
Caron Heron has signed up to run stage number 184 from Bourbon to Stanton, a distance of 12 miles, to hand off the baton to Cable, who will run the 10-mile trek into St. Clair. At city hall, he will hand off the baton to Wilnellys and Wayne Moore from Fenton, who will run the 11 miles to Villa Ridge.
These four individuals are in the same running group that meet on Wednesdays and Saturdays in Fenton, Cable said. The Moores ran in the Boston Marathon in April but were not injured.
Other runners may accompany the lead runner on each leg.
The relay from Los Angeles to Boston was organized thousands of miles away by a trio of running enthusiasts from the United Kingdom, who wanted to show their support for Boston following the tragic events of April 15. The journey started on June 7 and will end on June 30.
There is no break as runners keep the baton moving 24 hours every day. The route will pass through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
The 3,300-mile route has been divided into 319 separate stages. Most of the stages are around 10 miles in length with a few as long as 26 miles. Some group stages in the larger cities are five miles.
By collecting donations from each of the participating runners, the relay is raising money for The One Fund Boston, set up by the mayor of Boston to assist the victims and families most seriously affected by the bombings. Donations made by runners who ran in Oklahoma will be donated to the disaster relief fund set up in the wake of May’s devastating tornadoes in Moore.
The three friends from England who organized the relay were Kate Treleaven, Danny Bent and Jamie Hay.
“When the news from Boston reached us on April 15, we were completely stunned,” Bent said. “It took a little while to digest what had happened, but we each reacted in exactly the same way — we just knew we had to do something.”
“One Run for Boston is a chance for runners to come together and show solidarity in a really dynamic way,” Treleaven said. “It’s a chance to be part of something remarkable, to demonstrate the strength of human spirit and send a powerful message of support to the city of Boston and those whose lives were changed on April 15.”
Cable said he will receive the baton outside of the Jesse James Wax Museum in Stanton. He will deliver it to St. Clair City Hall.
“Anyone who would like to support Boston, can run with me,” said Cable, warning that, “I will be keeping an 8:30 to 8:45 minute per mile pace during the run.”
For more information, visit www.onerunforboston.org.