Thousands Run to Honor Fallen Heroes

ke Cronin, Boston) - Running to honor fallen heroes, more than 10,000 crossed the finish line outside Boston's world trade center Sunday for the city's Run to Remember.

"We're not just doing this for ourselves, we're doing it for someone else," said Sarah Passanisi of Mansfield.

"We do get runners from every state in the country and about eight or nine countries outside the U.S.," said race director Steve Balfour.

Boston Police and the department's Runner's Club sponsor the five mile and half marathon races, which began 10 years ago to pay tribute to officers killed in the line of duty.

"And certainly the Boston Marathon last year, that's added a great - more meaning to it," said Balfour.

Carrying the American flag throughout the half marathon, Adam Gill traveled hundreds of miles to run in memory of a police officer who died near his hometown of Pequea, Pennsylvania.

"We really take a lot of our freedoms for granted, a lot of our protection for granted," said Gill. "These officers lay down their lives for us. This is just something that we can do to pay a little bit of respect back to them."

It's not just police officers being honored. Passanisi ran for Matt Rodriguez, a Marine killed in action.

"It was just really important for everyone to see us supporting Matt and everything, so I'm glad we could get his name out there," she said.

Others, like Mike Hastie, are raising money. His friend died of cancer. Through this and other races, Hastie's team has raised $10,000 this year for cancer research at Massachusetts General Hospital.

"When I feel like I'm slowing down, I think about Mike and the battle that he went through, and that helps get me past the last couple miles," said Hastie.

Much of the money raised today by the thousands who crossed the finish line will benefit community programs of the Boston Police Runner's Club, as well as many local charities.

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