Local runners have the opportunity to participate in a nationwide fundraiser this weekend as One Run for Boston races through Effingham County and surrounding communities.
The nonstop transcontinental relay is raising money for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. It started at 10 a.m. June 7 in Venice Beach, Calif., and will end June 30 at approximately 7 p.m. in Boston.
Lisa Dambach, of Janesville, Wis., will carry the baton from Funkhouser to Teutopolis on U.S. 40 beginning at about 10 p.m. Saturday night.
“It wasn't really a choice,” she said on her decision to participate. “When I saw that story (about the relay), I knew I wanted to do it and be a part of it. I didn't have to think about it.”
Dambach, 43, began running marathons four years ago. She remembers watching the Boston Marathon on television and promising herself that she would run a marathon before she turned 40.
Her first 26.2-mile race was the Milwaukee Marathon. She has competed in the Boston Marathon, and her time this year was 3:40:16 — putting her at the finish line a couple hours before the bombs went off.
Her husband had waited for her at the finish line and would have been in the line of fire had Dambach finished closer to 3 p.m.
“I had just gotten on the subway when it happened,” she said. “Had I run slower, who knows.”
Dambach will take the baton Saturday from Josh Mitzen, who will be running from St. Elmo to Funkhouser. She will then proceed to run 9 1/2 miles from North 900th Street in Funkhouser to North Garrett Street in Teutopolis.
The race will be tracked live through a GPS device in the baton. The location of the baton can be viewed at www.onerunforboston.org in the “Live” tab.
Dambach has a few people signed on to run with her, but hopes more people from this area will sign up.
While she is a marathoner, Dambach wants potential teammates to feel at ease.
“You don't have to be a marathoner,” she said. “I will not run faster than a 10-minute (mile) pace. ... Everybody will run together as a group and hold the baton ... I know it's late at night, but I'm hoping that people will come out and cheer us on, just to be a part of it.”
Dambach invites the public to join her at Brickbat Alley Bar & Grill after she finishes her leg of the run.
“Boston is an amazing marathon,” Dambach said. “I want to honor the victims and what the marathon stands for. To be a part of something like this is very special.”
The cost to participate in the marathon is $50 per person and will go toward helping the victims of the tragedy. To sign up or donate visit www.onerunforboston.org.
Nicole Dominique can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 138, or email@example.com.