Going the extra mile

HOUGHTON – More than 70 people participated in a local “Go Boston” response run Sunday afternoon to support those affected by last week’s Boston Marathon bombings.

The 1.5-mile run, organized by Michigan Technological University student Ben Wittbrodt, started at 12:30 p.m. outside Tech’s Memorial Union Building and went up and down College Avenue, escorted by the Houghton Police Department and Michigan Tech Public Safety and Police Services.

“What this event showed me is that you can do something no matter where you are to make a difference,” said Wittbrodt, a member of Team RWB (Red, White and Blue), a national group that supports veterans by putting on physical and social events, including “Go Boston” runs across the country.

“As a member of Team RWB, I have been following their response runs throughout the week and decided we should do something like that here,” he said. “I wanted to try and give people an outlet to feel like they could support a good cause even if we are far from Boston – spreading the word that Boston has support all over is what is most important.”

Wittbrodt organized the event in just five days, expecting a group of maybe 10 friends to show up. With the help of Tech President Glenn Mroz and Vice President for Student Affairs Les Cook, and a Facebook event page, the event drew 72 people, according to a group photo taken just before the run.

Temperatures approached 40 degrees under overcast skies during the event, but rain held off until later in the day.

“Overall I would have to say this was a fantastic success,” Wittbrodt said.

People still wishing to show support for Boston can donate money through two websites:, a general fund to help those directly affected, and, to help the Richard family, who lost their little boy and the mother and daughter were seriously injured.