HURRICANE, W.Va. -- Jeff Ranson instantly recognized Rich Boehm on Sunday by his bright yellow 2013 Boston Marathon running shirt. Ranson was wearing a similar one.
Ranson, of Hurricane, and Boehm, of Scott Depot, met on a Boston-bound plane last week with a few things in common -- both runners from West Virginia excited to participate in the Boston Marathon for the first time.
During Sunday's run at Hurricane Wave Pool Park, which was held to honor the Boston Marathon bombing victims, the two realized they had even more in common.
Both had about a half-mile left to run when the two bombs that left three dead and more than 180 people injured exploded near the marathon's finish line. Both had wives waiting for them at that finish line. Both were happy to be alive and unharmed. And, both planned to finish that half-mile on Sunday on behalf of the victims.
"Today I wear this proudly," Ranson said, donning the same shirt he wore at the marathon.
"No doubt," Boehm said.
About 250 people showed for Sunday's running event, raising more than $3,200 for a Boston Marathon Victims Fund set up at First Sentry Bank in Huntington. The money will go directly to the Boston Center for Independent Living to help those who lost limbs in the bombings.
Ranson said he runs the Hurricane trail all the time, but Sunday was different.
"We want to do anything we can to support them -- they went through so much. I don't really care about the finish line or the medal today," he said.
Sunday's run, sponsored by the Tallman Track Club and TriStateRacer.com, was special to Boehm, too, but for reasons in addition to honoring the bombing victims.