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Atlantan Raising Funds for Bomb Victims at Boston Marathon

Rick Boyd is the only Georgian selected from hundreds of applicants for the 50-member The One Fund Boston Marathon charity team, which is raise money for those that last year's bombing affected most.

Tara Adyanthaya crosses the finish line at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Credit: Special
Tara Adyanthaya crosses the finish line at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Credit: Special
Runner Rick Boyd was nearing the finish line of the Boston Marathon last year when the two deadly bombs exploded. Boyd, who can be seen in one of the most iconic photos* of the second blast will run this year’s race on April 21 as part of The One Fund Boston Marathon charity team.

The governor of Massachusetts and mayor of Boston established The One Fund last year to raise money for those the bombing affected most. The Boston Athletic Association is providing 50 bib numbers to be used for raising funds and awareness of the nonprofit and its mission. Boyd, of Druid Hills, is the only Georgian selected from hundreds of applicants for the 50-member team, which was organized and supported by Marathon Sports, Inc. 

“Marathon Day in Boston is a day like no other,” says Boyd, head of the Commercial Finance practice at Buckhead's Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP (MMM). “The streets are filled with people cheering and having fun for 26.2 miles. This particular day was absolutely perfect. I had run a great race and was in the home stretch headed to the finish line. It is hard to describe the devastation that occurred in a matter of seconds.”

“I remain haunted by what I saw that day,” he adds. “Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu and Sean Collier all lost their lives, and hundreds more suffered severe physical and emotional trauma. Nothing I have done prepared me for that experience. I cannot imagine what they and their loved ones are going through. I’m passionate about trying to raise some money to help.”

Boyd has already raised more than $16,000 of his $25,000 goal and more donations are welcome. To read more about his commitment to the cause, and to donate, visit http://www.crowdrise.com/OneFundBostonMarathon2014/fundraiser/rickboyd.

He will have moral support along the route from two other returning Boston Marathon runners who are also attorneys: his wife Tara Adyanthaya and colleague Bob Threlkeld of Buckhead. When the bombs exploded, Boyd dropped to the ground, surrounded by seriously-injured survivors. Adyanthaya was safely across the finish line. Threlkeld, who heads MMM’s Healthcare practice, had just turned onto Boylston Street around the corner from the blasts.

“After running a marathon, you are physically drained and already experiencing lots of emotions,” adds Adyanthaya, who now has her own law firm specializing in law and medical ethics. “Hearing the explosions, and not knowing how bad it was, was terrifying. I knew my friends and family were back there, and I knew there were many people whose lives would never be the same. Part of me is angry that sociopaths took something really beautiful and joyful and tried to turn it into something ugly and sad,” she says, “but a bigger part of me wants to show that we are resilient and that good overcomes evil.”

“I think someone was looking over all of us that day; that’s the truth,” says Threlkeld. “We had five of us, all running friends from Georgia who strung out over the course, but were never far from one another – and unwittingly all close to evil. Tara and our friend April likely ran past the suspects while they had their backpacks ready to destroy folks who came out to watch the end of the marathon. Our other friend Yvette was close to Rick near the second blast and ran backward to where I was, in shock from what she witnessed. But we also witnessed many people at their finest, people caring for people they didn’t know.”

“As we run, we’ll carry vivid memories of last year,” Threlkeld said. “Drawing on the strength and goodness of many people encountered on the way, we’ll strive towards the finish line for personal reasons, and also for the many people who have suffered.”

The One Fund Boston Marathon charity team collectively has already raised more than $500,000 and has a goal of $700,000. Last year, the fund collected and distributed nearly $61 million in the first 75 days to over 230 individuals who were most affected. One Fund Boston continues to be a resource for survivors, victims, and their families. The financial need continues for many and most importantly for those that will need long term care for prosthetics and other lifestyle modifications for the rest of their lives. One Fund Boston plans a second distribution this Summer.

* In a widely-circulated photo taken by Dan Lampariello, Boyd is on the right in a blue shirt, between two police officers, as the second bomb detonates.

- This article was contributed by Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP

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