WASHINGTON, April 21 (UPI) -- Many of this year's runners in the Boston Marathon are racing in honor of those who were killed and injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line last year, and among them are three members of the U.S. Congress.
Massachusetts Reps. Joe Kennedy III and Stephen Lynch and Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema joined with more than 35,600 runners competing in Monday's race, the oldest continually-run marathon in the world.
Sinema, who did not qualify for the elite race based on speed, was chosen to wear one of 5,500 bibs reserved for charity runners. She raised more than $20,000 for Team MR8, a group formed in honor of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the bombings.
“Boston is like the Holy Grail of running events,” the eight-time marathoner said. “I never thought I would ever find my toe at the starting line at Boston.”
She said she hoped to run a personal best, beating her previous time of 4 hours and 29 minutes, but finished at 4:48:25.
Kennedy, 33, is racing with the One Fund, a group established by Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick last year to support victims of the bombing and their families. Sinema, 37, also fundraised for the One Fund.
A first-time marathoner, Kennedy planned to run the 26.2-mile course with his wife. Kennedy finished with a time of 4:02:42.
Lynch, 59, managed to earn a qualifying spot based on time, but joked that the Kenyans "don't have anything to worry about."
But as it happened, the perennial marathon champions did have one American to worry about: Eritrean-born U.S. citizen Meb Keflezighi ran a 2:08:36 to become the first American winner of the Boston Marathon since 1983.
Lynch ran his marathon in 4:55:12.