How Boston Bombing Has Inspired Virgin London Marathon Runners (PICTURES/POLL)

Running For Their Lives

When the news came of in the Boston Marathon bomb attack, Britain's sense of sorrow was tinged with sad pragmatism.

Would the runners who had been training for months for the upcoming Virgin London Marathon still choose to take part take part?

But just as the crowd watching the Boston marathon surged to aid the wounded instead of walking away from danger, this weekend runners in London will be choosing to mark the tragedy with inspiring acts of solidarity.

Runners have been circulating the #handsoverheart message on social media

Running organisation Spat, or Social Purpose And Time, began the trend of encouraging runners to race 'for Boston'. The charity, which uses running to try and help young homeless people to get back on track, has been encouraging participants to cross the finish line with their hands on their hearts in memory of those killed and injured in last Monday's attacks.

The hashtag #handsoverhearts has already been tweeted hundreds of times.

Lucy Macnamara

Tweets Of Support For #handsoverhearts

According to Amber Dowell from bereavement care charity Cruse, many of us feel desire to “do something” in the face of a tragedy.

“There can be a sense that, whilst we cannot bring back the person who has died, we want to find positive ways of remembering them.”

“A charitable trust or other memorial can be a way of continuing to feel close to the person we have lost, and this closeness can make the pain of grief easier to cope with."

Despite the recent tragic events in Boston, Hannah McBride from North London said she has no doubts about taking part on Sunday.

“In the wake of Boston it's all the more vital we run with our heads held high and with hope in our hearts. We all owe it to those injured in Boston to have the best race day ever.

"I know London will again do the world proud and people will turn out in force to show a united front. I can't wait!” said McBride, who will be raising money for homelessness charity Centrepoint.

Javed Khan, chief executive of Victim Support (who have runners in the marathon), agrees that the reaction to the Boston bombings has been "inspirational".

"The reaction of our nation standing united together to say that life will still go on is very positive."

“Our runners are taking part to raise money for victims affected by this kind of tragedy -– so they can cope, recover and move on with their lives.”

Dr Ann Rowland, director of Bereavement services at Child Bereavement UK, adds that the death of a eight-year-old boy in the Boston Marathon terror attack further compounds people’s desire to express solidarity.

"The death of any child is against the expected natural order of events and impacts on the immediate family, friends and the school community.

"The wider community is impacted too – often by the horror of imagining the loss of a child within their own family. A natural response is frequently to come together to offer support in a variety of ways through collective silences or fund-raising events."

Here are a selection of inspiring quotes to support runners this weekend..

Inspirational London Marathon Quotes