Only 10 days ago, two explosions went off and so many runners were stopped short of achieving that dream of crossing the finish line at the Boston Marathon.
So many were injured, and lives were lost.
Thursday night's event at Levis Commons in Perrysburg could never bring those lives back, or heal the wounded, but a group of runners helped the healing process for a country and a city hundreds of miles away.
Second Sole had a line out the door for more than 30 minutes selling "Boston Strong" T-shirts, before a three-mile run around the commons. Some runners had their Boston Marathon apparel on from participating in this year's event, or previous years.
Lisa Stevens, who finished the Boston Marathon last week - she was not injured - was there Thursday and said it was great to see the support of so many all over the country after the scary event last week.
All the proceeds from these T-shirts sales went to One Fund Boston, a charity endorsed by the Boston Athletic Association and mayor of Boston to aid bombing victims. After huffing and puffing through a three-mile jog, I went back and asked about sales: volunteers said they sold around 200 shirts before selling out of most sizes and have another 100 ordered. At $20 a pop going completely to charity that would be about $6,000 - a rough estimate as volunteers will continue to sell shirts and take donations.
To me, that is a running community in this area stepping up big time for a grieving city.
And make no mistake about it - this is a running community. I found that out the hard way with my run.
I felt great starting the run. It was a great day and I felt like I was in the middle of the pack with a good pace, and then I started to realize how far three miles really is. I looked to my left and saw a 2011 Boston Marathon jacket, and then a 1996 Boston Marathon jacket and I felt like I was doing great and in good company. Then I watched those jackets until I couldn't see them anymore.
Saddest part of my run was a turn coming down Levis Way when the group was heading back toward Second Sole. I thought I was nearly done with the run without going through too much pain when I started seeing people jogging back toward me. We were only half done and turning around at the roundabout - demoralizing.
I felt a boost of energy when I saw Ms. Stevens behind me at one point and thought 'hey I'm not doing so bad, a marathon runner is behind me.' I quickly lost that energy when around mile two she practically sprinted past me and joked that I needed running shoes. The worst part was after I finished my three miles, she kept running.
I stepped out of my car when I got home and felt a strong burn in my calves and realized maybe I should go back next week. I was so out of shape.
It was great to run with such nice people; outstanding athletes that finished the Boston Marathon. It was a honor just to run with them.
But it was even better seeing people in Perrysburg rally after such a tragedy shook a running community.