WARRINGTON Parkrun was joined by two special guests today – The United States Deputy Chief of Mission to the United Kingdom, Lewis ‘Lew’ Lukens, and Dave Fortier, a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing.
They joined the parkrun as part of a visit they made to Warrington to celebrate the United Nations international day of peace yesterday.
The Chief Executive of the Peace Foundation in Warrington, Nick Taylor, invited Lew and Dave to join him on his home parkrun, to experience over 400 people coming together to run and volunteer in sport and friendship, as they do every week.
Warrington has held close relations with the United States, both in war and peace times. During World War II, the town was home to 18,000 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) service personnel, based at Burtonwood, the largest airfield in Europe during the war housing most USAAF personnel and aircraft maintenance facilities.
In recent times, relationships have been formed between the town’s Peace Foundation and like-minded US organisations, including the One World Strong Foundation, founded by victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. The organisations are part of a coalition working to prevent violent extremism and support those affected by terrorism.
Lew is an ultra runner and is joining Dave to run the Boston Marathon in 2019. They are also in talks with runners from across the world to ask them to mark the next anniversary by organising their own runs to coincide with or around the time of the next marathon.
Dave was running his very first marathon in Boston to help support a friend dealing with cancer when he was injured by the first bomb.
He suffered shrapnel wounds and hearing loss. He has since gone on to run 10 additional marathons in Boston, Paris, New York, Florida and Washington DC. Dave’s passion for helping other survivors of terror and trauma eventually led him to found the One World Strong Foundation, where he now serves as President.
Nick welcomed Dave and Lew to the town saying: “I am delighted that our friends from the United States were with us on Peace Day and also part of the Parkrun.
“Parkrun is an incredible community event, and Warrington is about to celebrate the 250th staging of its own run nest week. It brings people, and dogs, of all backgrounds together in sport and health, and is supported by an amazing team of organisers and volunteers.
“Every week, Parkrun Warrington welcomes ‘tourists’ to Victoria Park and I am delighted that Lew and Dave will be taking part alongside the people of Warrington promoting peace and friendship through running.”
Live from Warrington parkrun with some special international #peace runners Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation
Posted by Warrington worldwide on Saturday, September 22, 2018