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A huge crowd sets out in silence for the first half-mile of Lake Placid's Boston Strong tribute run Monday night. The event was held to honor and show support for the victims of last week's Boston Marathon bombings. Photo: Chris Morris via <a href="http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/">Adirondack Daily Enterprise</a>
A huge crowd sets out in silence for the first half-mile of Lake Placid's Boston Strong tribute run Monday night. The event was held to honor and show support for the victims of last week's Boston Marathon bombings. Photo: Chris Morris via Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Lake Placid run honors Boston

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Hundreds of people circled Lake Placid's Mirror Lake Monday night to raise money for the victims of last week's Boston Marathon bombings, and to show their support for a city still reeling from the deadly attacks.

Among the 500 or so people who ran, walked and biked around the lake in the Boston Strong tribute were three Lake Placid residents who ran in last week's marathon.

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Reported by

Chris Morris
Tri-Lakes Correspondent

A huge crowd gathered at Mirror Lake Beach before the run to listen to a recording of "The Star Spangled Banner," sung by Boston Bruins fans just two days after the marathon bombings.

Greg Borzilleri organized the tribute and spoke before runners took to the course.

"Tragedies like this remind us of how special it is to live here in this beautiful place, lucky to be relatively safe, lucky to have people around us who care enough to come to a tribute event like this," Borzilleri told the crowd. "Normally our community gathers in numbers like this to cheer, whether it's a big sporting event, a graduation or some type of celebration. Today, as we look around at our friends, loved ones and neighbors, we're reminded how fortunate we are."

The first half-mile took place in silence as a tribute to the bombing victims. The atmosphere was solemn, and the only sound came from the steady shuffling of feet on the pavement.

But as runners, walkers and a few bikers circled Mirror Lake and came down Main Street, the mood had changed. Some gave high-fives to onlookers while others flashed the peace sign or gave a thumbs-up to photographers. Many of the participants wore "Boston Strong LP" T-shirts or clothing sporting logos of Boston sports teams.

Todd Smith of Saranac Lake grew up just outside of Boston and still has friends living in the city. He and his wife, Hilary, ran for their friend Julie Weeden, who was working at the Forum Restaurant on Boylston Street when one of the bombs exploded.

"We had no idea what to expect," Smith said. "We showed up 20, 30 minutes early just to come here. There was just maybe 50 people, and at first we were like, 'Oh, I wonder if it's even going to happen.' And then all of a sudden - there must have been 500 people tonight."

Rachel Stanton ran in Boston last week, and in the Lake Placid tribute. She said the response was overwhelming.

"[There's] people that aren't even runners that came out to support runners in general and everything that happened in Boston," she said.

Another Boston runner, Darci LaFave, said the community support made her feel welcome and lucky to be home. Her fiance, Billy Whitney, said he didn't expect so many people.

"It felt great to look back and see the field of people going down the road," he said. "It's just incredible."

Borzilleri - who's also an Ironman race director - said the diverse group of people at the tribute was just what he'd hoped for.

"That's what I wanted to do," Borzilleri said. "I wanted to make it inclusive. ... I figured for us, we'll run, walk, push our kids in a stroller, for Boston. I thought it was great."

Chris Morris' reporting is courtesy of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. For more of his work, go to AdirondackDailyEnterprise.com.

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