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Cross-country relay for Boston bombing victims cuts path through Trafford

Lillian DeDomenic | For The Penn Trafford Star - Scott Farley of Walworth, N.Y., Philip Westlake of Murrysville exchange the relay baton at the intersection of Rts 130 and 993 in Harrison City. Westlake took the baton from there to the next exchange in Delmont.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Lillian DeDomenic | For The Penn Trafford Star</em></div>Scott Farley of Walworth, N.Y.,  Philip Westlake of Murrysville exchange the relay baton at the intersection of Rts 130 and 993 in Harrison City.  Westlake took the baton from there to the next exchange in Delmont.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Penn Trafford Star - Philip Westlake of Murrysville takes the relay baton at the intersection of Rts 130 and 993 in Harrison City through Claridge and into Delmont.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>    Lillian DeDomenic | For The Penn Trafford Star</em></div>Philip Westlake of Murrysville takes the relay baton at the intersection of Rts 130 and 993 in Harrison City through Claridge and into Delmont.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Penn Trafford Star - Scott Farley of Walworth, N.Y., celebrates as he completes his portion of the One Run for Boston on June 26. Farley ran the leg from Turtle Creek following Route 130 into Harrison City and handed the relay baton to Philip Westlake of Murrysville at the intersection of Rts 130 and 993. Westlake took the baton from there to the next exchange in Delmont.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Lillian DeDomenic | For The Penn Trafford Star</em></div>Scott Farley of Walworth, N.Y., celebrates as he completes his portion of the One Run for Boston on June 26.   Farley ran the leg from Turtle Creek following Route 130 into Harrison City and handed the relay baton to Philip Westlake of Murrysville at the intersection of Rts 130 and 993.  Westlake took the baton from there to the next exchange in Delmont.

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Chris Foreman
Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Scott Farley drove more than 300 miles from his home near Rochester, N.Y., last week for an 11-mile evening jog along busy Route 130.

He'd never been here before, but the half-marathon runner said he was motivated by the mission of escorting a relay baton from Turtle Creek through Pitcairn and Trafford to Harrison City on June 26 — just one of 320 stages of a 3,300-mile, three-week journey from Venice Beach in Los Angeles to Boston.

As one of the 1,600 runners in the One Run For Boston fundraiser for victims of the April 15 bombing of the Boston Marathon, Farley, 50, said he wanted to contribute to a lengthy stage because the relay wasn't going near his home.

“I told Vicki (his wife), if I was going to drive five hours, I wanted to make it worth my while,” said Farley, who grew up in Connecticut and Maine.

By its finish on Sunday, the cross-country relay organized by three Britons raised more than $70,000.

The final four stages followed the path of the marathon two-and-a-half months after the bombing near the finish line killed three people and injured more than 260. The surviving accused bomber was indicted on 30 federal charges last week and faces a potential death sentence, if convicted.

As word of the relay spread through running magazines and social media, the One Run For Boston campaign became a rallying point for people who were affected by the violence and felt compelled to do something, said Danny Bent, one of the relay organizers.

He and a friend, Kate Treleaven, ran occasional stages of the relay and greeted the runners along the way by following their progress in a donated Ford Escape. Their partner, Jamie Hay, handled the updates to their website and social-media accounts.

Because the stages cut through only 14 states, some runners outside of the relay path went to great lengths to participate. One man flew from Hawaii to run in Ohio; another left Maine to grab a stage in Texas.

Other runners let strangers cash in their frequent-flyer miles to pick up a leg of the run.

“I don't think there's any other sport that would come together in such a strong fashion as the running community,” said Bent, a journalist and photographer from Devon County in England.

Farley's two-hour run ended outside the Pizza Hut in Harrison City, where he handed off the specially made, lily-shaped baton — which he nicknamed “Miles” — to Murrysville residents Phil Westlake, Dean Meixner, Cristin Gorajczyk, Marlo Ayres and Kim Pekarcik.

Westlake, who was born in Wakefield, Mass., where police arrested Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, mapped out the seven-mile stage to take some of the lesser-traveled roads in Claridge and Boquet before reaching Ianni's Pizzeria in Delmont.

For Gorajczyk, who qualified for the 2014 Boston Marathon at the Pocono Marathon in May, running in the relay gave her a chance to support the bombing victims.

“I don't know what they (the bombers) were trying to prove, but they're not going to stop people from running, especially in a place like Boston.”

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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