More than 3,000 feet lightly hit the pavement in Downtown Roanoke, but many of these runners taking part in the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon today, ran with heavy hearts.
"It's really sad because that was supposed to be a great day for all those people, runners and the spectators," said Tyler Proffitt.
Proffitt, a runner, ironed on "Boston Strong" to his t-shirt the night before the race. It was one of dozens of tributes including a New England Patriots flag, and a special runners bib, to a city stricken with terror last Monday.
"Runners stick together. it's a great community. we're not going to let something stop us. we're moving forward," said Angie Maske-Berka.
"I know the people of Boston are strong and I know they're wicked, they're wicked joyful. They're wicked angry right now so they're going to love each other," said Pam Rickard.
The winner of this year's Blue Ridge Marathon Jeff Powers, an Abingdon native, now living in Pennsylvania who says he, like the people of Boston, will not be deterred by terror.
I think if people are going to commit terrorism, the best way to combat it is to do business as usual, said Powers.
Matthew Knights, a man from a Boston suburb, who trained for this race using Monday's marathon route, says running is the only way he knows how to rebound from the attacks.
I certainly did think about how grateful I am to still be able to run. We have a lot of folks who are struggling up there right now and hopefully we'll stick behind them and help them out," said Knights.
It is a message runners in Roanoke hope will resonate across the country, every step of the way.