Julia Burke crossed the finish line at about 12:30 p.m. today, fulfilling her promise to bring the cancelled New York City marathon to Buffalo.
A crowd of some 50 friends, family and well-wishers was waiting at the finish line as Burke completed 15 laps around Delaware Park – a run slightly longer than the 26.2-mile New York City marathon route – as a way to raise money and awareness for the victims of Superstorm Sandy.
“Thank you to everyone who came out,” Burke said just after completing the run. “This is one of the best things in my life.”
Some 144 people joined Burke at various times during her approximately 4-1/2-hour run. Most did a few laps, but six ran the entire marathon distance with Burke. Five of those six, like Burke, had planned to race in the New York City marathon today prior to it being cancelled as New York City continues dealing with the effects of last week’s storm.
Others came to show support for Burke, and the cause that brought the 26-year-old Buffalo runner to Delaware Park this morning.
“You are a Buffalo inspiration," Lori Morreale of Buffalo, who ran two laps around the park, told Burke when the run was over.