Boston, Massachusetts’ favorite time of year is upon us once again — Patriots’ Day and the Boston Marathon. Since 2013, this particular race has been ingrained in the minds of America, turning the annual event into a memorial, as well as a celebration of resilience and resurgence. With the big day here, we honor those who lost their lives on April 15, 2013 and also salute our country music artists and Nashville stars who have trained hard, fought furiously, and run themselves ragged to raise awareness and show support of organizations.
Diamond Rio‘s members, colleagues, and fans have been running races for years in support of “Team Rio.” The team has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Big Brothers, Big Sisters through fundraising efforts, with Jimmy Olander and Gene Johnson each taking on active roles on the team by running fulls and halves, respectively.
Eric Close of ABC‘s Nashville is often running races, including the San Diego Half Marathon and Los Angeles Full Marathon. While crossing a finish line is typically the highlight of someone’s race day, Close’s idea of a memorable moment is more sentimental. “Having my daughter waiting at the finish line. Doesn’t get much better.”
Jo Dee Messina has encouraged her fans to get fit and treat their bodies like temples for years, and the Bostonian certainly leads by example. Messina hasn’t only completed the coveted Boston Marathon (while injured, mind you), she has also crossed the finish lines of many other road races, including the San Antonio Half Marathon where she served as the post-race concert headliner.
Julie Roberts has defied odds by becoming a Newton runner. The country artist was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, but refuses to let MS keep her down. To that end, Roberts has completed a fifty-mile walk in Savannah, Georgia and will run the Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon at the end of this month. “I always like to have goals. My goal is to continue to be active and healthy. It energizes me and makes me happy.”
Kellie Pickler hit the streets of Nashville for the Country Music Marathon along side friends to honor Tennessee Titans kicker, Rob Bironas, who died in September 2014. As part of a group of twenty-five, Pickler and team wore shirts that read “say I won’t … and I will,” as well as matching bibs sporting Bironas’ jersey number, “2.”
Tim McGraw’s Dancehall Doctors ran the New York City Marathon on behalf of the Tug McGraw Foundation, named after McGraw’s late father and created to raise money for brain tumor research. The talented musicians have also been spotted in Washington, D.C. at the Marine Corps Marathon and the White Rock Marathon in Dallas, Texas.
Whitney Duncan isn’t only a “survivor,” she’s a fighter. Duncan participated in the Women’s Running Nashville Half Marathon and 5K, joining over 4,000 runners on the Music City streets. The Post Monroe member ran the 5K race to raise awareness for the search efforts for her cousin, Holly Bobo, who was abducted and later declared the victim of a homicide. Duncan not only ran the 3.1 mile race and placed fourth, but she also kicked off the day by singing the National Anthem.
Good luck to everybody running Boston today! If you see any of our favorite country music artists and Nashville stars pounding the pavement, make sure to let us know by tweeting NashvilleGab! And, on behalf of our friends at Swiftwick, take today to DO WHAT MOVES YOU!