His son "would be happy" that Busch is running for him Saturday, he said. "It doesn't matter where he [Busch] finishes. Jimmy wanted to be remembered, and this is another way of doing it. But we'd like to think that he's watching over us, keeping an eye on us."

Busch won't argue that. Last year, he ran the Baltimore Marathon to honor another Marine, Cpl. Kurt Shea, 21, of Frederick, who'd been shot and killed in Afghanistan in 2010.

"I'm not that religious, but at mile 22, I was really hurting," Busch said. "I could almost feel Kurt's presence helping me along. Whatever it was, it helped."

He has but one regret.

"I just wish I could be running with these boys, and not for them."

mike.klingaman@baltsun.com

If you go

The 2012 Baltimore Running Festival runs through much of the morning Saturday. The starting time for the Baltimore Marathon and the Legg Mason Team Relay is 8 a.m. at Russell and Camden streets. The 5K run begins at 8:15 a.m. at Paca and Pratt streets. The kids Fun Run is set for 9:20 a.m. (runners age 7 and under) and 9:30 a.m. (kids 8-12) at the Kids Fun Zone on Lot C at the stadium complex. The half-marathon begins at 9:45 a.m. at Conway and Light streets. Marathon runners should start arriving at the finish line around 10:15 a.m. Information, including a full events listing: thebaltimoremarathon.com.

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