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Run the Boston Marathon in Honor of Lu Lingzi (GRS’13)

Lu family gives five spots to runners from BU community

Lu Lingzi, Boston Marathon bombings 2013, marathon training fundraiser

Lu Lingzi (GRS’13), the BU student killed in the bombing at last year’s Boston Marathon, was a gifted mathematician who loved Boston, music, and American ice cream. Photo courtesy of Menghan Hu (CAS’13, GRS’13)

In a tribute sure to be coveted by marathon runners around the world, the Boston Athletic Association has given the family of Lu Lingzi (GRS’13), the BU student killed in the bombing at last year’s Boston Marathon, 15 spots for runners in this year’s race. The Lu family has given five of those spots to runners from the Boston University community.

The honorary spots are exempt from the customary Boston Marathon requirement: runners will not have to meet a qualifying time, nor will they have a fundraising minimum, but any money raised will go to the Lu Lingzi Scholarship Fund, which endows two graduate students with an annual stipend and full tuition for up to two years. That fund has already exceeded $1 million.

“BU is dear to our heart,” says Helen Zhao, Lu’s aunt. “The family wants to continue to support BU and Lingzi’s scholarship, hoping more students can benefit from it to pursue their dreams.” Zhao says the other 10 spots will be given to people chosen by the family.

Any member of the BU community—student, staff, faculty, or alum—interested in running is asked to electronically submit a brief written statement or video describing what running the marathon in honor of Lu would mean to them by end of day, Friday, February 7. The five winners will be chosen soon after. Kenneth Elmore, dean of students, says the ideal submission will be “respectful of this occasion and will really demonstrate why a person feels they can engage in this honor that we have been given.”

Submissions will be reviewed by representatives from the Dean of Students Office, Marsh Chapel, the International Students & Scholars Office, Alumni Relations, Student Government, Government and Community Affairs, the Office of the Provost, and the Lu family.

“Throughout my interactions with them, this family has shown me what grace is all about,” says Elmore (SED’87). “For them to think of us during their time of sadness and sorrow, and to give the people in this community the chance to show their support in such a spectacular way, we should be humbled and honored.”

With only 11 weeks until the Marathon, anyone chosen to run who has not been training will need to begin immediately. Jennifer Carter-Battaglino (SED’03), instructor of a FitRec marathon training class, has volunteered to help runners train. Barnes & Noble at BU will design jerseys for the runners.

Amy Laskowski

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

7 Comments on Run the Boston Marathon in Honor of Lu Lingzi (GRS’13)

  • BU Staff on 01.30.2014 at 8:16 am

    Great idea. Thank you to the Lu Family.

  • Jason McCool on 01.30.2014 at 10:02 am

    What an extraordinary opportunity to honor this young woman and the resiliency of this city. I’ll definitely be applying for a slot.

  • Grace on 01.30.2014 at 10:07 pm

    I applied! Many thanks to the sweet and gracious family of Lu Lingzi — what an honor.

  • Sharone on 02.04.2014 at 7:50 am

    This is such a beautiful opportunity, what a great idea.

  • Katie on 02.10.2014 at 12:33 pm

    Do we know roughly when the winners can expect to be notified? I’m anxious to know so that the honored participants will be given enough time to train if selected.


    • BU Today writer Amy Laskowski on 02.10.2014 at 2:22 pm

      Hi Katie, I checked, and the committee will notify the chosen runners by the end of this week.

      • Katie on 02.10.2014 at 4:56 pm

        Thanks Amy!

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