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Runs honoring Marathon are postponed; but interest builds

Grass-roots group runs in honor of those unable to finish the Boston Marathon are being postponed this weekend, as organizers say they don’t want to burden law enforcement who have had a taxing week.

“The cops definitely need a rest,” said Brookline organizer Jonathan Ritter-Roderick, who has pushed back the planned “Boston Marathon Redux,” a rerunning of the entire Marathon route originally scheduled for Sunday, to May 11. “We want to give them time to recoup.”

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More than 4,000 runners who had planned to gather in Kenmore Square Saturday to symbolically run the last mile of the race will do so on April 27, organizers said.

And a Boston College-based community walk expected to draw more than 15,000 participants, the “Last 5” walk from campus to the Marathon’s finish line, was canceled Friday, with a new date to be announced.

Postponements aside, interest in such commemorative runs continues to build, with runs planned throughout this weekend in states such as Virginia, Florida, New York, Vermont, and California, according to runners’ websites. In many cases, runners are being encouraged to wear the Boston Marathon’s signature blue and yellow.

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Boston’s next major road race, a Memorial Day weekend half-marathon scheduled for May 26, has seen registrations soar in a show of support, with about 1,000 sign-ups since Monday, said organizer Steve Balfour.

Nearly 8,000 runners have registered for the race, Boston’s Run to Remember, a tribute to Massachusetts law enforcement officials killed in the line of duty.

Another officer was recently added to that list, when MIT police Officer Sean Collier was slain in a confrontation with the Marathon bombing suspects, according to authorities.

“This race may be the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to the many thousands of first responders, volunteers, and Marathon organizers who ran toward danger to help others and have continued to do so,” Balfour wrote in an e-mail to runners on Saturday.

Balfour said that an Army unit deployed in Afghanistan has written to him, asking for official T-shirts and race medals so they can hold their own Run to Remember on their base.

“We would just like to show our support for our fallen comrades,” a unit member wrote him.

Peabody resident Kevin Livermore, who is organizing the “The Last Mile” run, said postponing the event will allow him to secure the proper permits from the Boston Transportation Department.

“Local, state, and federal authorities have been working hard around the clock, and have already been stretched pretty thin,” he said. “This will give us the time to plan, promote, and sponsor this event.”

The Boston Marathon Redux is open to runners, walkers, and bicyclists.

Globe Correspondent Peter DeMarco can be reached at demarco@globe.com.
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