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Boston Strong Asheville Event Tonight

Updated: Tuesday, April 23 2013, 12:04 PM EDT
Marty Harwood-Edes grew up in Boston. A co-owner of Asheville Running Tours, which takes people on running tours of Asheville's breweries and wine bars, Harwood-Edes wasn't at the site of the Boston Marathon bombings last week, but her heart is there now.

"I used to live in Boston, on Newbury Street, near the Boston Marathon finish line. I have a cousin who lives in Watertown, about a mile away from where they all converged on Friday," Harwood-Edes said.

"So many families were affected. We here in Asheville were so lucky that all of our runners and all of their families came home in one piece. It could so easily have been a friend or family member, or any one of us."

With that overwhelming sense of relief, and grief, Harwood-Edes wanted to do something. So, she and Boston Marathon survivor Mary Kopenheffer, 62, of Biltmore Park, decided to do what runners do - hold a run.

Boston Strong Asheville will consist of a 2- or 4-mile walk or run, starting at 5:30 tonight at Asheville Brewing Co. on Coxe Avenue downtown.

Organizers are asking people to wear Boston blue or yellow while they walk or run in solidarity with the Boston Marathon bombing victims and to donate to one of two charities set up to help the victims and their families: the Be Strong, Stay Strong Fund for Charlotte bombing victims and One Fund Boston.

At 2:50 p.m. on April 15, during the 117th running of the Boston Marathon, two bombs exploded at the finish line, killing three people and severely wounding more than 200 others, including Nicole Gross, a 31-year-old personal trainer from Charlotte, and her husband and sister, who were cheering on the sisters' mother at the finish line.

"We're hoping to collect donations. Last Tuesday, we gathered in an emotionally raw state, saying we're not going to be scared, we're going to run and be together, but now it's what can we do to help?" Harwood-Edes said of a group, which meets every Tuesday for a social run. "We're hoping to take some of the burden off people in Boston and their families."Boston Strong Asheville Event Tonight

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