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Runners honor Ahmaud Arbery with 2.23 mile run, walk on anniversary of his death

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    Boston (WBZ) — Runners across the country lacing up their sneakers in honor of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man shot and killed while jogging on February 23, 2020. Among them is Leandrew Belnavis, the founder of the Unnamed Run Crew.

“He could’ve been a younger brother. He could’ve been an uncle. He could’ve been a cousin. He could’ve been me,” said Belnavis. “I think of making my way in my neighborhood. Who knows, I can be mistaken for someone else. These occurrences happen every day to black and brown runners. The fear is always there.”

In Ahmaud’s memory, the 2:23 Foundation is hosting “Finish The Run,” a virtual 2.23-mile run, walk, or bike. The foundation has a fundraising goal of raising $223,000 over the next year for scholarships.

Members of Boston-based PIONEERS Run Crew took part in the race Tuesday morning, including Captain Aliese Lash.

“It was an emotional morning. There were lots of emotions packed in the day, knowing this is his death anniversary and knowing that our intention was just to come together and hold that moment as a community,” said Lash.

“It’s a day of remembrance. It’s a solemn day. And I’m just hoping we do the legacy proud,” said Belnavis.

“The idea is for us to finish the run that Ahmaud couldn’t finish himself. And so we were to go out. We started our run and finished our run and we were able to hold that and we were able to have that privilege to do that in a way that Ahmaud couldn’t,” said Lash.

The virtual global run is going on through March 3rd and participants are encouraged to share on social media using the hashtag #FinishTheRun. For more information on 2:23 Foundation, visit: events.elitefeats.com/223run

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