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Great gesture from UMass for Boston Marathon runners

There were many, many, many great injustices done at the Boston Marathon on Monday. Around No. 1,478 on that list is that scores of runners were not given a chance to complete the journey they worked so hard to prepare for, and the Massachusetts football program is inviting all Boston Marathon runners a chance to rectify that at their spring game on Saturday. 

"Competing in the Boston Marathon is a lifetime achievement and something to be celebrated," UMass coach Charley Molnar said in a university release. "These runners deserve to finish what they started and we hope we can provide that for them. We want them to have that feeling of coming down the home stretch to the sound of applause and to have their friends and families greet them as they cross the line."

The Minutemen are inviting any and all runners to take a lap around McGuirk Alumni Stadium, cross a finish line set up at midfield of the stadium and have their name shown on the video board. Each runner will also receive a gift from the university, and the team will wear commemorative Boston Marathon stickers on their helmets to recognize Monday's victims, the first responders on the scene and the runners themselves.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were at the Boston Marathon and those who worked to help people in need in the aftermath of this terrible event," the school said in a statement on Monday. 

Sports are at their best when they rise up as a vehicle for community healing, as the crowd at the Boston Bruins game so vividly demonstrated Wednesday night. The UMass football program will take a turn to do its part on Saturday afternoon.