Belfast Telegraph

Boston Marathon 2014: Belfast four set to run on bomb anniversary

By Luke Sproule

One year on from the tragic events of the Boston marathon, four Belfast runners say they will be inspired by the spirit of the city when they take part in this year's event.

Stuart Kennedy, Peter White, and husband-and-wife team Daniel and Eileen Jack are running the marathon today to raise £12,000 for the Northern Ireland Hospice on what will be an emotional day in the US city.

Three people died on April 15 last year when two bombs exploded near the finish line, but that did not discourage the Belfast runners.

"Peter's mother died in the hospice a few years ago so we had talked about raising money for them and last year's events just made us more determined," Mr Jack said.

"Eileen is from Boston so she just wanted to be there on the starting line, but because of the increased demand for places we were worried we might not be able to go

"In September we got the go-ahead and it's been such hard work since then, it still hasn't really sunk in yet."

The money raised will go towards the hospice's buy a brick campaign to rebuild Somerton House on the Antrim Road and provide modern care for cancer patients and their families.

"The campaign is called Operation Purple and we will be having our own Operation Purple over in Boston," Mr Jack said.

"We're taking purple T-shirts with us and we will have lots of supporters, including expats who are over there.

"From mile 18 until the finish they'll be cheering us on."

After the horror of last year's marathon, Mr Jack is expecting it to be a day of mixed emotions for both the city and the quartet from Belfast.

"It will be an emotional day but I don't expect the mood to be sombre," he said.

"The marathon this year is going to be something else, people have really got behind it and I think the defiance of Boston will show through."

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