BETHEL — Resident Shanta Hoff will host a children’s fun run at 9:30 a.m. May 18 on the Davis Park bike path to help raise $1,000 for the family of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombing April 15.

Two days after the bombings, Hoff said that she and her two children, 8-year-old E.B. and 6-year-old Mae, were driving through Massachusetts, heading back home to Maine.

“I was trying to figure out a way to explain to my kids what had happened,” Hoff said. “I got to thinking about that Fred Rogers quote, about finding the helpers in the middle of a crisis. My kids, who both love to run, decided they wanted to do something to help the Richard family.”

Hoff said her children saw “so many parallels between our family and the Richard family, whether it’s the age of their children or their love for running.

“My kids have done a lot of kids races themselves, so they thought it would be a fun way to raise money,” Hoff said. “They were considering donating the money to the One Fund, but they connected so much with the Richards family.”

Registration to participate in the kids’ fun run is $15, with all proceeds going to the Richards family. Hoff said people can also sponsor runners in lieu of running.

Children will run 0.26 miles down the bike path and return to the starting point. All children participating will receive a medal upon finishing the race.

Hoff said her children are already trying to convince their classmates to participate in the race.

“Even if their friends don’t like to run, they’re telling them that it’s a short race and that it’s for a good cause,” Hoff said. “I even know some people that will be walking their infants in a stroller to participate.”

Hoff laughed and added, “They’ll be able to tell their kids they ran their first marathon at 5 months old.”

In addition to the fun run, Hoff said she may set up a craft table for participants to write a letter to send to the Richards family.

“It’s just a good way to get kids to participate in something positive, and for our community to connect with the Boston community,” Hoff said.

All registrations may be mailed to Hoff at 175 Walkers Mills Road, Bethel, ME 04217. For a registration form, email Hoff at [email protected] or download it from the .26(x2) Fun Run Facebook page. Hoff said people may register at the race, but to contact her ahead of time so she will have a head count.

[email protected]


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