Akron connected to Boston and the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings Sunday morning, sending a message to those killed and hurt and runners around the world.
About 80 people — runners and bystanders — showed up along South Main Street at 7 a.m. in 40 degree weather for the taping of an original music video of a song dedicated to the Boston victims and runners by Akron musician and marathon runner Jim Ballard called I’m Gonna Run.
Grace Brown and her son, Timothy Brown Jr., stood on Main Street as Brown’s husband, Tim, ran along the street with a few dozen other runners, performing in the video.
“The message to Boston is: Persevere and never give up!” said Grace Brown, a stay-at-home mother.
Ballard, 63, wrote the song dedicated to the Boston victims and runners earlier this month and organized the taping of the music video.
“I’m gonna run/ I’m gonna run/ No matter what you’ve done, you have not won/ I’m, gonna run,” the song says.
Two volunteer video crews, a professional one led by Jared Staehli and a crew of Archbishop Hoban High School seniors headed by Mario Micale, taped runners, some carrying guitars, and people watching the runners along the street.
The two crews will put their footage together and eventually put the video on YouTube.
Tim Brown ran the half-marathon last year in Akron and hopes to run the full marathon this year.
“Keep supporting people at the finish line,” said Brown, 36, who works at Jo-Ann Fabrics.
“I don’t want to see the number drop” at Boston or other marathons, he added.
Steve Marks, chairman of the board of the Akron Marathon, and several others affiliated with the Akron Marathon turned out for the video taping.
Marks, who has run the Boston Marathon in the past, believes the numbers of people running different marathons around the country will not diminish but will increase following the Boston bombings.
“People are saying we aren’t going to be intimidated by this,” said Marks.
The Akron Marathon will be run Sept. 28 this year.
Marks said because of the bombings, officials in Akron “will have to be on our toes and figure out a lot of things we never had to think about before.”
The Boston Marathon, Marks said, is “an unbelievable event. Unless you’ve seen it, it is hard to describe ... Everywhere you go, there are thousands of people supporting you.”
Brent Tisch, 46, of Munroe Falls, was a running extra in the video taping and knows all about the Boston Marathon.
He ran the marathon this year, finishing in about 3 hours and 18 minutes. He was already finished and was with his wife, Lucky Tisch, in their hotel room when the bombings occurred.
“I want to show my support” for the victims in Boston, he said Sunday.
Another runner who took part in the Sunday taping, Barbara Habowski, 60, a retired secretary from Northeast Ohio Medical University, has run six marathons, including the Gettysburg Marathon recently, and hopes to qualify for Boston some day.
She got up early to be in the video “to be an inspiration” and as a sign of “prayer for those who were hurt and killed.”
A month after the bombings, she said, she still gets “chills every time I think about Boston. It was sad. Very sad.”
Ballard said the crews got enough footage Sunday to put the video together.
“I think we made it work,” said Ballard, who runs Sky Lyne Studio, a recording studio in Akron.
Ballard said he was inspired to write and record the song by the bombings and the image of the 78-year-old man who was knocked to the ground after the bombing, and by Akron runner Gabe Pszonowsky, a 35-year-old Ohio Army National Guard second lieutenant, who ran through downtown that week carrying a huge flag in support of the victims.
“Whoever you are/ Wherever you go/ Don’t matter, near or far, I just want you to know/ That maybe you’ll knock me down in the street/ But you’re never gonna stop me ’cause I’ll get back on my feet,” are the first lines of the song.
Ballard said Sunday he was thrilled that so many people started their Sunday by making his video happen.
“We are really glad we can do this from Akron to Boston,” he said.
For more information on the Akron Marathon, go to www,akronmarathon.org.
Jim Carney can be reached at 330-996-3576 or at email@example.com.