PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Top Stories

April 16, 2013

Runners honor Boston victims with memorial miles

PORT NECHES — As the nation reels from deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon Monday, runners across Southeast Texas are taking a knee, tying their shoes and honoring those lives lost by doing what they love — pounding the pavement.

A light mist filled the air as more than 40 people (plus one pooch named Casey) ran silent miles to remember those harmed in Monday’s attacks.

Organizer Amber Oleksy, who qualified for the 2014 Boston Marathon last weekend in Dallas, was shocked when she heard about the bombing. The aftermath left three dead including an 8-year-old boy and more than 170 injured.

“I felt so bad for the people, they worked so hard to get there,” Oleksy said. “Friends and family are there supporting them and someone went and ruined it.”

The more she thought about the situation, the feeling that there was something she could do grew. Deciding to organize a silent run/walk to honor lost lives, the injured and those affected by the bombs seemed right, Oleksy said.

“I felt for the people — there is only so much you can do when you’re so far away,” Oleksy said. So she took to Facebook and began organizing the event.

Chris Hopper, pastor at Fellowship Baptist Church in Nederland, said a prayer before the run began.

“It’s so important to pray for the families and stay together even though we don’t know the answers,” Hopper said. “It’s about unity, unity, unity.”

Sarah Zarate, a member of the Sea Rim Striders, a longtime Southeast Texas running club which hosts the  Turkey Trot in Beaumont on Thanksgiving Day and the Summer Run Series, was also in dismay over the bloodshed.

“It was very shocking — runners are such a supportive group of people,” Zarate said, adding how it is hard to fathom how anyone would want to harm such positive people.

It is that attitude that shows the close-knit nature of runners in Southeast Texas. When asked how this incident may affect her own running, Zarate was quick to say that if anything, it has encouraged her to run even more.

“Things are going to happen anywhere,” she said. “Last night the first thing I wanted to do was be with my running friends.”

And many other runners felt the same sentiment, such as Derek McWilliams, president of the Sea Rim Striders, who met up with a friend and the Golden Triangle Strutters in Beaumont last night to run 3 miles in memory of the three lives lost.

McWilliams decided that he would not let this affect him negatively, saying that qualifying for the Boston Marathon is still his goal and he would pursue it with even more drive.

“When one runner is affected, we’re all affected,” McWilliams said. “I’m overwhelmed seeing the support from everyone.”

“It’s not going to stop the runners,” he said.

On-scene reporter Julie Garcia contributed to this story.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • FireHFONLINE.jpg Hamshire-Fannett Elem badly burned

    With smoke still hanging in the air and water blasting hot spots in the smoldering ruins of Hamshire-Fannett Elementary School, the administration and parents of hundreds students are left wondering what’s next.

    March 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 86th Academy Awards -_Edge.jpg ’12 Years a Slave’ rises up at Academy Awards

    Perhaps atoning for past sins, Hollywood named the brutal, unshrinking historical drama “12 Years a Slave” best picture at the 86th annual Academy Awards.
    Steve McQueen’s slavery odyssey, based on Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir, has been hailed as a landmark corrective to the movie industry’s virtual blindness to slavery, instead creating whiter tales like 1940 best-picture winner “Gone With the Wind.” “12 Years a Slave” is the first best-picture winner directed by a black filmmaker.

    March 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obit Shirley Temple_Edge.jpg Shirley Temple, iconic child star, dies at 85

    Shirley Temple, the dimpled, curly-haired child star who sang, danced, sobbed and grinned her way into the hearts of Depression-era moviegoers, has died, according to publicist Cheryl Kagan. She was 85.

    February 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Winter.jpg Freezing rain, sleet Thursday into Friday

    Wicked winter weather is heading to Southeast Texas Thursday night into Friday.
    An arctic cold front will be passing through bringing along with it much colder and windier conditions, according to a National Weather Service press release.

    January 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oscar Nominations_Cowl.jpg ‘Hustle,’ ’Gravity’ lead Oscar nominations

    The Academy Awards appear to be the three-horse race many expected it would be, with “Gravity,” “American Hustle” and “12 Years a Slave” all receiving a heap of nominations. All were among the nine films nominated for best picture. The other nominees are “Captain Phillips,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Her,” “Nebraska,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Philomena.”
     

    January 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wendy Davis.jpg Wendy Davis tours Port of Beaumont

    State Sen. Wendy Davis burst onto the national political stage in June, when she spent 11 hours filibustering in an attempt to block Senate Bill 5, a contentious piece of legislation that banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and required abortion clinics to meet the same standards as an ambulatory surgical center. Although the bill passed the next month during a special session called by Gov. Rick Perry, Davis breathed new life into a Texas Democratic Party that last saw an official elected to statewide office in 1994.

    November 20, 2013 1 Photo

  • Jack-knife trailer.jpg Jack-knifed trailer snarls traffic, closes Rainbow Bridge

    October 31, 2013 1 Photo

  • fall.jpg UPDATED — Where to go: Fall Fests, Trunk R Treats and Pumpkin Patches

    If you're looking for a place to bring the kids trick or treating, or maybe looking for a great patch to grab a pumpkin here is a list of events planned around the area.

    October 28, 2013 1 Photo

  • IMG_9345.jpg Overturned 18-wheeler shuts down portion of Hwy 73

    The portion of Highway 73 traveling eastbound at U.S. Highway 69 will be blocked for two to three hours due to an overturned 18-wheeler. Motorists should take an alternate route to avoid the area.
    The Port Arthur Police Department is on scene and investigating the accident. No further details are known at this time.

    September 20, 2013 1 Photo

  • AwaitingArrival.jpg Streets lined to pay respects to Maddox

    Motorcyclists, Coast Guard and members of the Hamshire-Fannett Fire Department along with the public are gathered at Jack Brooks Regional Airport to pay tribute to fallen soldier Anthony Maddox.

    August 2, 2013 2 Photos