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Pond Boston benefit well-received

Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST
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About 300 Fox Valley runners gathered Monday night to support victims and survivors of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings.

Dick Pond Athletics-St. Charles, which hosted the benefit run, sold out of its allotment of 100 “Runners for Boston” T-shirts within 15 minutes, store manager Glen Kamps said.

It was more of the same for Dick Pond’s five other Chicagoland locations, which also were given 100 shirts apiece. All proceeds went toward the Boston One Fund foundation.

“I felt bad to even have the run because of the bad circumstances it was caused by ... but I told someone else the only way good people could fight evil in general is to overwhelm it,” Kamps said. “And that was the sensation of these 300 people of good.”

Geneva resident Elena Shemyakina, 53, was among nine customers of the St. Charles store who competed in the Boston Marathon. Shemyakina, whose 3:06:48 finish was tops among all women ages 50 through 54, served as the race starter before filing in for the 2.62-mile run that included athletes of all ages and abilities.

“She was the face of the marathon to us, all in one person,” Kamps said.

At night’s end, athletes dined on the famed Boston delicacy of hot baked beans – a welcome complement, it turned out, to the traditional finisher’s fare of Gatorade.

“It surprised all of us,” Kamps said. “We thought we’d throw all the beans away or take it home to our kids or something. There wasn’t much left at all.”

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