LANSING (AP) – Paying tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings is a top priority, organizers of the Lansing Marathon say.

Among those doing so on Sunday will be Virginia Beard, who was a half-mile from the finish line Monday when the explosions happened. Beard qualified for the Boston Marathon last year in Lansing.

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She’ll kick off this year’s Lansing Marathon by running its last half-mile with Mayor Virg Bernero before receiving a medal and leading the crowd in a moment of silence.

It was a whirlwind week for Lansing race organizers, who recruited extra course marshals and re-routed the course because of severe rainstorms that led to flooding. They’ve also had to account for hundreds of runners have registered since Monday.

“I think that it’s people saying ‘I’m going to get out and run in tribute to people who ran in Boston and didn’t get to complete their race”‘ as well as to honor the victims, assistant race director Pam Jodway told the Detroit Free Press.

Jodway said she expected runners and others to come to the race wearing blue and yellow, the colors of the Boston Marathon.

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Heidi Hagy said she plans to don the blue-and-yellow jacket she earned by completing Monday’s race.

“It’s just one way Boston can see us in another state supporting the running community and remembering them and what they went through,” Hagy told the Lansing State Journal.

Hagy, a 46-year-old Bath resident who had run the Boston Marathon once before, nearly skipped this year’s race because of an injury. About eight days prior to the race, though, Hagy decided she was ready.

Hagy finished with what she considered a slow time — 4 hours and 27 seconds — and was waiting in line for her medal when the explosions hit.

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