For his customers and colleagues, Marathon Sports manager Shane O’Hara has been part motivator, part coach and part running buddy for years — long before a bomb exploded just outside his Boylston Street storefront.
For most people, running is a solitary endeavor. But on the Wednesday two weeks after the blasts at the Boston Marathon finish line left three dead and more than 260 injured, Marathon Sports’ weekly running group swelled to nearly 300. O’Hara became a leader for those who were there, and for those who couldn’t be.
“Please, every step, every mile, remember why you are running. Never forget that, OK?” O’Hara said that night. “We are able to run where there’s others that are not.”
For the last year, WBUR has been checking in with O’Hara. His Wednesday night running group is now known throughout the city and beyond. And the store has transformed too. It’s always been a bit of a runner’s icon, as it sits right there at the Boston Marathon finish line, but it’s become something of a magnet and a memorial.