Virginia Western student moved to run Blue Ridge Marathon - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Virginia Western student moved to run Blue Ridge Marathon

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"I encourage all of you, every single one of you to run at least a mile a day," says Andrew Smith. 

That is what smith told his public speaking class at Virginia Western Community College Monday morning. A man who has Asperger syndrome, but has overcome the challenges with running. 

"I talked about my own personal experiences like running at Cave Spring High School with Coach Tommy McGuire and my brother Tim who is a runner," says Smith. 

Hours later, the news of the bombings at the Boston Marathon hit too close to home for Smith. 

"It angered me as a person and human being and also as a runner. Not for the athletes that are wounded, but also for the people just watching, like the parents, spouses, relatives and friends cheering on these people," says Smith.

Rather than sitting at home, Smith decided to act. He asked his mother to sign him up for the Blue Ridge Marathon this weekend to show his support. 

"I especially want to do it in memory of these people killed .To see my family members like that watching me, I would be devastated right now and angered as well," says Smith. 

The longest race Smith ran was a half marathon. He says he isn't worried about this race, because so many at the Boston race are going through a difficult time, and knows he can do this. 

"That was a cowardly act and that should not stop people from wanting to come out, and I am all for going out and participating," says Smith.

Encouraged to run, not by a speech or a classmate, but out of compassion for others.





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