UMass football coach organizes Boston Marathon celebration

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One day after the second Boston Marathon bombing suspect was captured, the entire state of Massachusetts felt a sense of relief and pride.

UMass Head Football Coach Charley Molnar, who is an avid runner, calls the Boston Marathon the culmination of a runner's career.

Molnar organized a celebration for several runners who did not get the chance to complete the marathon due to the bombings Saturday.

Half a dozen runners took a lap around McGuirk Stadium during halftime of the Minutemen's spring game.

It ended with the team giving high fives to the runners as they crossed a make-shift finish line.

One of the runners, Lisa Lunt, is an UMass alum who was a couple of miles from the finish line.

"We did not know what happened," said Lunt. "They just said race is over, race is over. [We] kind of felt a mix of anger and bewilderment. Then when we found out what happened, it was just fear. It was awful."

Saturday's celebration was open to more than just alumni.

Tom Frost has no association with UMass, but he learned of the celebration through a posting on the internet.

He said he was a half mile away completing the race.

"It has been an emotional roller coaster," Frost stated. "As a fortunate, lucky person who did not have anyone close to me get hurt, I am very thankful. My heart certainly does go out to the people who did get injured and of course worse."

UMass also honored the victims who were killed during the events of this week.

Four players each wore a jersey with the name of a victim in place of their own.

Team captain Rob Blanchflower also had a specialized jersey.

In place of his name was the Twitter hash-tag #BostonStrong.

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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