Jaywalking: One Run

Angela Worden-Corey and Kate Koonz joined hundreds of runners Sunday for perhaps one of the most inspirational 6.5-mile runs anyone has ever been a part of.

The two local women took part in the final stage of the One Run For Boston, which was a fundraiser attracting thousands of people taking part in a cross-country relay to raise money for the One Fund Boston, which supports the long-term needs 2013 Boston Marathon bombing victims.

The One Run For Boston began last summer when three British runners wanted to show their support for those affected by last April’s bombing. The inaugural One Run took place in April and raised $91,000. When organizers decided to do it again, the second venture drew increased participation and when all was said and done Sunday the cross-country event raised $430,000.

Worden-Corey, a Greenfield native living in Turners Falls, and Koonz, who lives in Orange, are special-education teachers at Butterfield Elementary School in Orange. The two women have done fundraisers for other causes in the past (call fundraising a sort of generous hobby of sorts for the duo), and while neither has run the marathon, both wanted to help out those affected. Thus, they signed up for the One Run, and on her fundraising page, Worden-Corey wrote: “ I’m running because I want to honor, support and remember those who were impacted by the Boston Marathon bombing ... I cannot run a marathon, but I CAN run 6.5 miles.”

Worden-Corey said she has only been running for a few years and has not done anything comparable in length to a marathon. This was the perfect opportunity for her to contribute to the One Fund and she took to Facebook for promotional help.

“I put up something every day to get people to donate,” she said.

For instance, on April Fool’s Day she posted that she would tell a joke to anyone who donated. When on another day she found out it was “National Draw a Picture of a Bird Day,” she offered to draw a picture of a bird to anyone who donated. She also had days when she matched donations that came her way. When all was said and done, the two women combined to raise $1,950.01 for the One Fund.

The One Run began on March 16 from Drake Stadium on the campus of UCLA in Santa Monica, Calif., when a large group of people took off for the seven-mile first leg at 1 p.m. The stages varied in distance but many fell between 7 and 12 miles, and a baton was passed from group to group. The running never stopped. People ran 24 hours a day. Some ran late at night (including through the Arizona desert), while others ran through thunderstorms, rain and even snow.

On April 13 at approximately 4:30 p.m., the baton was handed over to a group waiting in Christian Herter Park in Boston. The group included Worden-Corey and Koonz, as well as a number of those runners who had participated in earlier stages, and the mass of people set out for the final stage of the run.

“That was pretty awesome,” Worden-Corey said. “People were hanging out their windows and cheering for us.”

The contingent also included a number of survivors and their families, including some who lost limbs in the blast, as well as the sister of Sean Collier, the MIT officer who was killed days after the marathon bombing by the suspects trying to flee the area. With less than 50 yards to go, the baton was handed to the survivors, and together they all crossed the marathon finish line on Boylston Street in Boston.

It capped off a rather incredible fundraising venture and continued to show the good in people following times of darkness.

Last week I wrote the story of Jack McKenzie, who ran the Boston Marathon on Monday after winning an essay contest. Had you closely read the story, you may have caught an error after I mistakenly posted his time last year as 2 hours, 44 minutes.

When I spoke to McKenzie prior to writing the story, he told me he crossed the finish line at 2:44, which was five minutes before the bombs exploded. What I erred on was that he meant 2:44 p.m., not 2:44 on the clock. Had that been his actual time, it would have been somewhat close to the record for someone of McKenzie’s age, which put him in the Men’s Veteran’s Division (age 50-59) and was set in 1983 by Canada’s John Weston at 2:24:05.

I realized the mistake that day and had an email pointing it out when I arrived at work. I emailed McKenzie to apologize and he laughed it off. I ran a correction in Wednesday’s newspaper with the proper time of 4:04:02, but wanted to point it out here. For the record, the current 60-year-old McKenzie did run in Monday’s 118th marathon and finished in 4 hours, 22 minutes, 2 seconds.

Jason Butynski is a Greenfield native and Recorder sportswriter. His email address is jbutynski@recorder.com.

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