One day, Plainfield resident and lifelong runner Brian Petersson hopes to run in the Boston Marathon. It is his athletic dream.
But for now, Petersson is content using his legs to help those most affected by the Boston Marathon bombings earlier this year, taking a baton for a 10-mile leg of the One Run for Boston relay that started in San Diego, Calif. and will end in Boston, Mass.
Petersson will be running tomorrow around 6:30 p.m. from Stilesville to Cartersburg, the 214th leg of the country-wide race.
“I’ve done many marathons and am hoping at some point to qualify for the Boston Marathon,” said Petersson. “I found (One Run for Boston) through Facebook, and I registered immediately. I didn’t have to put much thought or time into making that decision. I said I can’t wait to get involved and see what I can do to help the victims and show support for them as well as the rest of the city.”
One Run for Boston started at 10 a.m. June 7 and will traverse 3,300 miles across the nation. It’s comprised of 319 stages and features nearly 1,000 runners.
Petersson, who works for a company called Vision Event Management — which produces running events all across the country as well as the Alexander Hotel — has been a distance runner his entire life. He’s been competing in marathons since 1999.
“The Boston Marathon to me is the pinnacle for an age group runner because you have to qualify to participate,” he said. “The standards are so strict and it’s such a high goal that I’ve pretty much been running my entire lifetime to get there. In golfing terms, a comparison would be (playing in) the U.S. Open in that you have to qualify.”
Petersson says that other local runners from his running club are slated to join him, and the New Jersey native says he’s excited about helping out those in need in Boston, as well as showcase a community he has adopted and loves.