Local runners packed Charm City Run in downtown Bel Air Monday evening, and even spilled outside onto South Main Street.
They were drawn by the retailer's "Runners for Boston" fun run. Runners also came out to Charm City Run's four other stores – in Annapolis, Baltimore, Clarksville and Timonium – for the fun run. Running supply retailers across the country held similar fun runs Monday in honor of those affected by last week's bombings at the Boston Marathon.
"It's just about coming together as a running community, supporting each other," Courtney Waldhauser, a veteran employee of the Bel Air Charm City Run, who coordinated the local fun run, said.
Waldhauser said about 50 to 60 people were expected, but the crowd Monday appeared to exceed that number, "which is awesome," she said.
The Bel Air run stretched for about five miles, from Charm City Run in the 100 block of South Main, north to Klein's ShopRite supermarket at North Main and East Broadway, to the Ma & Pa Trail, along a portion of the trail and then back to the store.
The dual explosions which rocked the Boston area and kept the entire city on edge for nearly a week as law enforcement hunted down the suspected perpetrators, took place near the marathon finish line in Boston's Copley Square.
Three people were killed – including an 8-year-old boy – and 180 others were injured watching the race, including a handful of spectators from Maryland.
A police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in nearby Cambridge, Mass., was also killed as the suspects, brothers Tamerlan and Dzohkhar Tsarnaev, tried to elude capture after photographs of them in the crowd were released by police.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in gun battle with police, and Dzohkhar was captured Friday while hiding in a boat. Federal authorities charged Dzohkhar Monday with the bombings – he is still recovering in a Boston hospital from injuries sustained while fleeing police.
Some of those who ran in Boston last week were at Monday's fun run, including Erin Schisler of Bel Air.
Her parents, Pam and Patrick Cahill, who are natives of Massachusetts and have lived in Harford County since 1990, were there to support her and her husband, Thomas, as they ran Monday.
Pam Cahill said her daughter had finished the marathon about 20 minutes before the bombs went off, and she was walking away when the explosions took place.
"I was just glad they caught them, and hopefully that's the end of it," she said of the suspects.
Cahill and her husband braved Monday's blustery weather to be downtown as the runners left, and wait until they came back.
"They're out there running, so the least we can do is be here," Pam Cahill said.