GREENUP, Ill. (WTHI) - It's four o'clock in the morning in the town of Greenup, Illinois and the community rests quietly. Even the flags lie still. However, through the silence a faint sound rises.
Bob Lynch and his companions wait to take on the next step of a much larger journey.
"It's runners from all over the country coming together to do something bigger than any one runner can do and immediately I knew I had to be a part of it," said Bob Lynch.
These men are joining One Run For Boston, a non-stop relay from Los Angeles to the City of Champions.
If this baton could talk, it would tell of travels through the deserts of Arizona, across rivers and streams in Oklahoma, and through wheat fields in Illinois.
Some teams come from a few towns over, others travel much farther.
"There was a guy that flew from Maine to Texas to pick up three stages, like 33 miles, and we're just doing a little stage here, just ten miles between Greenup and Casey," said Lynch, "so I'm kinda humbled by the whole experience."
"It is the most positive, inspiring, helpful thing I've ever been a part of," said Patti Susan, another participant. "It's hard to put my hands around, it really is. It's like I ran eight and a half miles of something that's very meaningful."
"Getting up this early in the morning to come out and do something like this is something I wouldn't normally do, I can promise you that," said Mike Sherrill who ran with Lynch, "but it is something with the Boston Marathon, of the tragedy that happened there; I'm proud to be a part of it."
The journey is slow down the back roads. Step by step, the resilience of our great nation appears.
One thing is for sure, an act that was meant to tear a nation down has only built it up stronger, especially these athletes.
"As runners that's what we do, we endure," said Lynch, "and when the bombs went off, the terrorists, they tried to take that away from us and they picked the wrong group because runners, we strive on that hardship, you know, we're going out there and beating the heat and the hills, and the cold."
As the torch is passed to the next group, this bond of runners grows stronger.
Along with it, a new dawn rises for the city of Boston and for the nation's spirits.
The run started on June 7th, and organizers plan to make it to Boston by June 30th.
That baton the runners carry is actually a GPS tracker.
You can follow the progress of the One Run For Boston by clicking here .
You can also donate to One Run For Boston. All money raised during the relay will go towards those affected by the marathon bombings.
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