Local runners taking part in this weekend’s London marathon issued a defiant message - and vowed the show must go on.
Organisers of the prestigious event in the capital are reviewing security following explosions at the end of the Boston marathon in America this week which killed three people and left more than 150 injured.
Officials with two of Calderdale’s biggest running clubs told the Courier their athletes were determined to take part in the London Marathon on Sunday.
Halifax Harriers spokesman Frank Chislett said: “People will be strong and realise the show must go on. I was extremely shocked at what happened in Boston as it was very close to a runners heart.”
Stainland Lions Running Club has around a dozen entrants registered in the London marathon and spokesman John Bassinder said: “It will be a message of defiance.
“I would not have thought people would pull out and, if anything, what happened, will strengthen their resolve.”
Sophie Richards, 29, of Barkisland, will be running in Sunday’s marathon.
“What happened has not put me off and I won’t be backing out,” she said.
Robin Tuddenham tweeted: “Shocking scenes at Boston Marathon finish line, was there a year ago today. Thoughts with everyone at the scene.”
He said: “I ran the race on a very hot day last year, through cheering crowds unlike anything I have ever experienced. The whole city stops to support the event on Patriots Day, with everyone on holiday, coming together to cheer the runners on and celebrate the place itself and the life affirming experience of running a marathon.
“I am sure that the people of Boston and the running community across the world will come together to support those affected and show a united reaction against those who perpetrated this terrible act.”
Janette Lever-Smith, of Brighouse, has been training for her first London marathon in memory of her late father, Trevor Lever, who died in a cycling accident last year. She said: “What happened in Boston was horrible. But nothing is going to stop us after all these months of training.”
David Waite, 30, who works at Reactiv in Elland, and hopes to complete the marathon in under three hours, is raising money for disability charity Scope. He said: “I was very shocked at what I saw on the news but I will still make the journey down there on Saturday. Security will be high on the day so it shouldn’t affect us runners.”
Director of Communities for Calderdale Council Robin Tuddenham tweeted: “Shocking scenes at Boston Marathon finish line, was there a year ago today. Thoughts with everyone at the scene.”
The Metropolitan police said they would be reviewing policing of the London Marathon which attracts half a million spectators and thousands of racers. Last year more than 37,000 runners took part. Chief Superintendent Julia Pendry, the event commander for the marathon, said: “A security plan is in place. We will be reviewing our security arrangements.”
Pictured are: Scenes from Monday’s attack on Boston’s marathon; David White and Sophie Richards who are both competing in this Sunday’s London marathon.