The race was in Buffalo, but Boston blue-and-yellow was evident from the Huron Street starting point to the downtown convention center finish line of Sunday’s Buffalo Marathon.
“Boston kept me going,” Stacey Jedynak, 27, of Buffalo, said after finishing the race. “At one point, when my legs hurt while I was running, I said to myself, ‘You know what? Your legs hurt. Well, people lost their legs, so keep going.’ ”
From the tightened security to the blue-and-yellow shirts, to the “Boston strong” attitude, the not-so-distant memories of the April 15 bombing near the Boston Marathon finish line were part of the fabric of Sunday’s 26.2-mile race that wound through Buffalo’s streets.
Jedynak and the two women with whom she ran the Buffalo Marathon had shirts made for the race. “For Boston” was written on the front, “Run. Respect. Remember.” on the back.
Liz Wolf, 45, and Erin Degroff, 42, both of Warsaw, and friend Heather Lester, 32, of Arcade, wore wristbands honoring Boston. Wolf and Degroff wore blue-and-yellow “We run for Boston” shirts. Lester said she wanted to get one, too, but the shirts had sold out.
Having run in several previous Buffalo Marathons, Wolf and Degroff noted that security was heightened for Sunday’s race. There was an especially strong police presence, as well as bomb-sniffing dogs and security helicopters. In addition, spectators weren’t allowed close to the finish line outside the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. “Security was beefed up,” Wolf said.
The women said they didn’t mind the police presence, and they also weren’t worried about any violence occurring during Sunday’s race.
Neither was Deborah Newburg, 27, a Boston native who ran the Boston Marathon last month. Newburg, wearing a Boston blue-and-yellow shirt, said she has family in Buffalo, so she, her boyfriend and her sister came here to visit and run the marathon.
Newburg said she finished the Boston Marathon an hour before the explosions turned what had been a beautiful day into a scene of horror. The Boston bombings killed three people and wounded more than 260 others, some of whom lost legs in the two explosions.
Newburg said the heightened security in Buffalo on Sunday wasn’t a problem, but she noted her disappointment that terrorists targeted the Boston Marathon, making the beefed-up security necessary here and at other marathons.
Newburg’s sister, Adrienne Newburg, 32, said she thought the Buffalo security was handled very well and that the entire race was extremely well-organized.
It’s important, given the Boston attack, Adrienne Newburg said, that runners continue to race nationwide.
In fact, next year, Deborah Newburg said, her boyfriend, Matt Cline, plans to run in the Boston Marathon. His time in Sunday’s Buffalo Marathon, she said, qualified him for Boston.
The security presence at Sunday’s marathon included Buffalo police, Erie County sheriff’s deputies, the State Police, the FBI and the U.S. Border Patrol, according to Buffalo police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge.
“In general, with any major special event held in the city, a specific security plan is put in place for that event,” DeGeorge said. For Sunday’s marathon, he said, “additional manpower and resources were added, including Skywatch, Air One and patrol boats.”