NEWBURYPORT — This past weekend, a cross-country relay kicked off to raise money for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, and when the baton reaches Boston next month, a Newburyport resident will join hundreds of others to help run the baton across the finish line.
Neal Grasso, an environmental consultant, will be running the final two legs of the One Run For Boston relay, which began Sunday in Santa Monica, Calif., and is scheduled to conclude in Boston on April 13.
More than 2,000 runners are participating in the 336-stage relay, which covers 3,300 miles across 14 states. The relay’s route takes runners across the American Southwest before turning up to travel through St. Louis, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and New York before finally arriving in Boston.
When it arrives, Grasso will be among what he expects will be a large group of runners leading the baton into the city over the relay’s final two legs, which start in Waltham and travel past Harvard Stadium before ending in the city.
“It’s a relay and it’s not necessarily a race; it’s about doing this relay across the country,” Grasso said. “There was one we did last year to raise money for the One Fund, and this is the second round of it.”
The relay was organized last summer to raise money for The One Fund in the aftermath of the Marathon bombings. It was founded by three friends from England named Danny Bent, Kate Treleaven and Jamie Hay, who heard about the bombing and came up with the race as a way to help.
“We wanted to do something to help those impacted by the blasts,” Bent said in a press release. “We had no idea if the relay would work, let alone take off in the extraordinary way that it did.”