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Oct 17, 2015 3:21 PM

Rochester holds 5K run for slain journalist; others run in his memory around the world


ROCHESTER - Hundreds of runners crossed the finish line for slain journalist James Foley on Saturday -- not just here but in places all around the world.

"It's really amazing. Something very special is happening here," said Stacey Marchioni, co-founder of the 5K race.

James Foley, a freelance journalist, was executed on Aug. 19th, 2014, after being held hostage in Syria by the Islamic State. Sunday would have been his birthday.

"The picture on my shirt is a picture of Jim and I at a close friend's wedding," said Daniel Johnson. "I think that's the image that people should remember of Jim - not the picture that is being circulated in the news. It's the image of Jim laughing and smiling. That's who he was and that's who he'll continue to be for all of us."

The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, created in his name, hosted not only it's first fundraising race here in Rochester, but invited others to join them from locations around the world.

"When I woke up at 4:30 this morning, the runners in Hong Kong had already finished and tweeted their photos. London had run, Amsterdam, Geneva," Marchioni said

The Foley Foundation seeks to inspire and support other journalists and families confronted with a loved one taken hostage.
"There are three pillars that really kind of encompass what Jim was really passionate about," said Mariann Murphy, the executive director of the foundation, listing the three areas where the Foley Foundation will focus. "American families who have a family member being held hostage. And then the second pillar is working with conflict journalists as Jim did - you know these freelance journalists working overseas in highly volatile very dangerous areas - so just making sure they have the training. The third pillar of the foundation is to empower youth through education."

Organizers counted more than a thousand participants in this first-ever 5K run to celebrate Foley's spirit, courage and his commitment to the First Amendment.

"I'm learning more and more about him everyday so we're trying to live vicariously through him. He was a symbol of strength and continues to be for so many of us," Katie Foley, his sister, said.


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