Run is a show of support for those injured in the Boston Marathon bombing victims

Run is a show of support for those injured in the Boston Marathon bombing victims

Dan Field

Facebook was the bridge that led to local runners Pete and Anita Leyva participating in a portion of a cross-country relay later this month to show support for Boston after the marathon bombings in April.

"I found out about One Run for Boston on Facebook," Pete explained. "After reading about it I found out it was being organized by three friends from the UK, Kate Treleander, Danny Bent and Jamie Hay. They were shocked by the assault on our country and wanted to do something to help the victims."

Two lake-area residents will be taking part in a cross-country relay later this month to show support for the Boston Marathon and the runners and bystanders injured or killed in the bombing.

The Leyvas, from Osage Beach, have signed up to run Stage 179 of the cross-country run from St. Robert to Newburg, a distance of 10 miles. They are scheduled to receive the baton about 7:05 a.m. June 21 to run the leg of their involvement.

"This is our way of showing support for the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing," the Leyvas said.

The 3,300-mile, non-stop running relay from Los Angeles to Boston will be passing through Missouri on June 20 and 21. One Run For Boston starts from Venice Beach at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 7, and is scheduled to reach Boston just over three weeks later at 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 30.

"Anita and I can't believe we are going to be a part of this event," Pete said. "Not only do we get to do our share for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, but this is the first cross country relay with only about 1,000 participants and we're two of them."

Leyva, a 14-year officer with the Osage Beach Police Department, has been a runner for several years. His wife, Anita, ran in high school and rekindled her interest a few years ago. Pete has run one full marathon and several half-marathons, and Anita has run two halfs.

"Another awesome part of this relay is that all money raised by the Oklahoma runners will stay in their state to assist with the disasters that have happened there," Pete explained.

Relay details

Hundreds of runners from across the USA will keep the relay going non-stop around the clock through 14 different states and four separate time zones, passing a specially designed baton between them. Supporters will be able to follow their progress online thanks to a GPS tracking device fitted to the baton, which will update its location every 15 minutes.

The relay will travel through the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and finally, Massachusetts.

The 3,300-mile route has been divided into 319 separate stages. Most of the stages are around 10 miles with a few as long as 26 miles, and some group stages in the big cities just five miles. Runners can sign up to run a stage via the One Run For Boston Website (