March 18, 2014 6:28am PT by THR Staff
Natalie Morales to Run Boston Marathon to Honor Victims (Video)
Natalie Morales is lacing up her running shoes again.
The Today co-host announced Tuesday that she'll be tackling the 26.2-mile course on Patriots' Day in honor of those still recovering from the horrific events of last year's Boston Marathon.
"Running the Boston Marathon has been a longtime dream of mine," she wrote in a post on Today's website. "But this year, the famed race carries even more meaning. We all watched in horror last year as news of the bomb blasts broke, claiming three victims and shattering so many lives. In the tragedy and its aftermath we saw heroes who saved lives, and we saw the courage of those injured by the blasts as they showed us all what it really means to be Boston Strong. I am truly inspired by their stories of perseverance and strength."
A seasoned runner, Morales has completed five marathons, "but it’s been eight years and one child since my last, and I’m a little rusty and out of shape on the training," she admitted. She plans to raise money to support the One Fund and the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and also introduces two Boston locals who were harmed by the attack in the post.
"I wanted to do something to honor them and all the victims who still have a long road ahead," she said, adding, "It will be an honor to run the Boston Marathon, and I’m sure so many will be feeling the emotions of that day...I hope I can inspire others to take up a cause they are passionate about and set a goal to make it happen. Running has always been my outlet, and I’m so happy to have this opportunity to help others along the way."
Watch a video of Morales training in Sochi below: