After the tragic events at this year's Boston Marathon, many runners, walkers, spectators and compassionate supporters around the country -- and the world -- looked for a way to help.
In the immediate aftermath, runners continued on to donate blood. Boston-area residents opened their homes to out-of-towners in need of a place to stay. And of course thousands have since donated money to a number of charities, including The One Fund, which now has raised nearly $30 million, according to the foundation's website.
Others are interested in supporting the race in a different way: by running the race next year, to show the world that runners are resilient and to help keep the Boston Marathon the celebrated display of strength it has always been.Interest in qualifying for the unparalleled race has skyrocketed, as displayed by the Google Trends graph for the search term "qualify for boston marathon" below.
Raymond Britt, who writes about the Boston Marathon for the website RunTri.com, noted that after this year's race, interest in qualifying for next year's is somewhere between 15 and 20 times greater than in any point since 2008. "The exceptional volume of search and visitor traffic certainly prove more than ever, runners want to be in Boston," he writes.
Because of the increased interest, some guess that marathon officials may expand the registration limit, according to Competitor.com. Doing so could ensure that, alongside the past champions who have pledged to return to the course, will be thousands of runners with something to prove. As Britt puts it:
"The leap in interest seems to suggest more of a fighting spirit. Runners are thinking: dammit, I'm going to run Boston to prove we aren't afraid of evil, we're going to face it head on, to show once and for all that no one's going to mess with us again. Runners see it as a sort of patriotic duty, to unite in a tribute to honor those who suffered in the tragedy and to take back the legendary event."