MIT runs strong for Officer Sean Collier - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

MIT runs strong for Officer Sean Collier

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WHDH) -

Thousands of people will run strong Marathon Monday, and many of them have a reason to run.

People at MIT are running in honor of Officer Sean Collier, killed on campus by the alleged marathon bombers one year ago.

The marathon training season has been long and cold.

The indoor track at MIT saw its fair share of miles from members of the “MIT Strong” Boston Marathon team

They're training in the same place where nearly a year ago Tim Mertz and his staff members had to shelter in place after officer Sean Collier was shot to death on campus.

They have decided to run in his honor.

“It’s a way to kind of come full circle. It’s a bit of closure for us,” Tim Mertz said.

The team’s organizer Tom Gearty said it was easy to get runners to join the team.

“A lot of people all had the same idea last year after the marathon, which was, you know MIT should be out there on the course,” Gearty said.

John Cunniffe was stopped a half mile from the finish line last year so when he got his bib number, there was no question as to which charity he would run for.

“Your heart breaks for his family, you know, young man he was just getting started in life, so it gives me the extra motivation to just shut up, stop complaining and keep moving,” Cunniffe said.

Julie Pryor is one of 39 faculty members, students, staff and alumni chosen from the MIT community to run. She said more than anything she wants her son to see the strength that can come from tragedy.

“I want him to see resilience up close, I want him to see me put my running shoes on and go outside in a polar vortex and make it happen,” Pryor said.

But with each passing mile this team will be carrying officer Collier’s memory.

“I’ll be thinking about him every step of the way, and the other first responders, and just take this day back. It's one of my favorite days of the year and I want it back,” Pryor said.

The team is close to reaching their fundraising goal. So far, they have raised $138 thousand, and the goal is $142 thousand.

Click here for more information on how you can donate to MIT Strong.

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