Samantha Kirkham & Molly Akers Page

Martin Richard Foundation

Team MR8 Boston Marathon 2014

Boston, Massachusetts

Samantha Kirkham & Molly Akers Page

Powered by PEACE--Running for Martin Richard, the youngest of the Boston Marathon bomgings.

Whatever the distance, a race just isn't the same without crowd support, and the last 6.2 miles of the marathon are the toughest. It’s the point where bodies fatigue and runners have to tap into a different part of their mind in order to find a way to keep going and find a way to finish line. The last 6.2 miles - are where the crowds double and triple—an amazing collection of support and a vital element is the cheering by others.

On April 15, 2013 that's exactly what the Richard Family was doing for the runners as they approached the finish line at the Boston Marathon. In just moments, two bombs went off and lives were forever changed. Martin Richard, 8 was standing with his family next to one of the bombs when it when off killing him and injuring his little sisiter as they stood there merely cheering. A senseless tradegegy that should have never happned.

Along with the rest of the world, we were stunned when we heard about the bombings in Boston. As runners, we participated in the 2011 Boston Marathon and had a handful of friends running last April. Fortunately, all - our friends were okay. However, Martin Richard, the eight-year old Dorchester boy senselessly lost his life that day near the finish line, and his little was injured losing one of her legs that day. However, just days after the bombing, a picture of Martin and his contagious smile holding a sign that said, ,“No more hurting…PEACE,” went global, and we knew we “had” to do something for The Richard Family.

So, we gathered some of our running friends out here in CHICAGO and created a run, “Tougher Than 6.2” (symobol of the last 6.2 miles of a marathon) to raise money for The Richard Family but to also show them we are their crowd support, cheering for them to keep going--the same they were doing for the runners along the finish line the day of the bombings. Our friends at RAM Racing also extended their hand and donted race equipment and gear for the run. (Thanks guys!)

Since then, it's been a crazy, seredipitous chain of events and proof that, when in doubt, reach out because you just never know who you’re going to impact, and how it can ultimately change someone forever; ourselves included.

We believe everyone has a story and realize how important it is to stop and listen. We have learned so much over the years, but mostly how vital it is not asking the question, "Why?" but instead, "Now what?" We've also learned that simply cheering someone on to keep going can be the push they need not to quit, and when so many people are doing the same, it can change someone's momentum forever. Whether it's in life or on the race course, that element of crowd support can single-handedly be the extra push someone needs to keep going when all we want to do is the opposite, the ulimate of momentum change can happen when we hear a cheer or know someone supports us in even the smallest of ways.

We are honored to be named as Foundation Ambassadors for MARTIN W. RICHARD CHARITABLE FOUNDATION and inaugral members of Team MR8 for The Boston Marathon 2014 to honor Martin Richard and the spread its mission, "No more hurting people- peace by investing in education, athletics and community."

Many thanks for your support! Most importantly, thank you for reminding the Richard Family they matter, what happened to Martin matters and there are people who care and are willing to do something about it and help them continue answering their "Now what?" We continue being their crowd support.

Donating via this web page is secure, and all the funds raised go directly to MARTIN W. RICHARD CHARITABLE FOUNDATION.

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Sam and Molly

"The Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation Inc., is a Massachusetts non-profit corporation formed by the parents of eight-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed at the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013.

In the days after the bombing, a photo of Martin holding a handmade poster that read “No more hurting people – Peace” went global and made many see Martin as a symbol of peace. Martin Richard’s view of peace went well beyond simply wanting to prevent violence. To Martin, peace meant things like togetherness, teamwork, fairness, sportsmanship, inclusion, and the prevention of bullying.

Martin was an 8-year-old boy who loved learning, sports and the world around him. He participated in the BAA Children’s Relay on Marathon weekend for three consecutive years. He was a school peacemaker and recognized at a young age that while we are all different, we are all the same. The way Martin saw the world anything was possible."

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