Akron musician and marathon runner Jim Ballard hopes to create a pretend marathon scene in downtown Akron Sunday morning as part of a music video for a Boston Marathon tribute song.
Ballard has hired off-duty Akron police officers to block off South Main Street from Exchange Street to State Street from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Sunday and hopes that several hundred runners will come downtown along with a few hundred spectators to be part of the video. He asks that people who want to be part of the video arrive downtown at 7 a.m. before the road is closed.
After the Boston Marathon bombing, Ballard, 63, who has run 16 marathons including the Boston Marathon, thought of the image of the 78-year-old male runner who fell to the ground near the finish line as one of the bombs exploded.
He also thought of the image of Akron Ohio Army National Guard 2nd Lt. Gabe Pszonowsky, 35, of Akron, who was featured in a Beacon Journal story about him running through downtown Akron carrying a large flag in support of those wounded and killed in Boston.
This prompted Ballard to write a song called I’m Gonna Run.
Runners who have guitars are encouraged to bring their instruments with them and also bring along someone who could keep the guitar during some of the taping, Ballard said.
“We want to make it look like the beginning of a marathon,” said Ballard, who operates Skylyne Studio, a music recording studio in Kenmore.
A videographer from Archbishop Hoban High School, senior Mario Micale, and his crew, along with professional videographer Jared Staehli, will tape the event and then combine footage into a music video.
“Like all who love and appreciate the sport of running, we are shocked and deeply saddened by the events that took place on April 15, 2013,” Ballard said. “Our thoughts remain with the runners, the race staff, the supporters and their families.”
The music video also will include short clips of runners voicing their support for Boston, Ballard said.
Anyone interested in participating is asked to visit https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1O062u1-OkJwKjL4NpmN8HndyRzu5nhjX89vWhDHRTo8/viewform.
Ballard encourages those who want to help the victims from the Boston Marathon bombing to make a donation to the One Fund Boston at http://onefundboston.org.
Jim Carney can be reached at 330-996-3576 or at email@example.com.