The “tactical backpacks” cost between $1,000 and $1,200, and the cost includes high-tech medical supplies that are packed into the bag for professionals to treat injured people in Ukraine, Kosheleva said.
One bag can save the lives of 10 to 12 people, Migacheva said. They include surgical tools to operate on everything from wounds to collapsed lungs. She said she was delighted when Exxcel reached out to organize the event.
“We are impressed with the gracious support and the volunteers who show up to run,” said Migacheva. “It means a lot.”
Tatiana Kamarskaya, owner and co-founder of Exxcel Gym on Wells Avenue is from Kyiv, Ukraine, and said when the war started to escalate she wanted to help in any way she could.
“I wanted this race to show that someone is behind Ukraine,” said Kamarskaya. “We don’t forget them.”
Kamarskaya, who lives in Westwood, said her family, friends and former acrobatics students still live in Ukraine.
“I wanted to be part of something bigger than me,” Kamarskaya said of her work with Sunflower of Peace.
Kamarskaya said she was already planning a fall race to condition the athletes, but “it all started to get very real” when bombs hit about two blocks from her parents’ home in Ukraine.
“If we’re already running, it might as well be for something,” said Kamarskaya, who said she started doing a lot of research on the nonprofit to make sure the money would go. to people suffering from the Russian invasion.
During the race, participants were dressed in Ukrainian colors and wore white in anticipation of supporters throwing blue and yellow chalk at them from the touchline.
Known as the “Color Race”, the race included three loops along Wells Avenue. Kamarskaya said the event was open to the public, but many attendees were gym members and staff as well as parents.
Eliana Soiffer, a 15-year-old from Brookline who has been an Exxcel member for 11 years, said it was important to show up in times of pain.
“It’s a huge crisis,” Soiffer said. “Often events fade into the media, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen.”
Sarah Linder, who lives in Allston and is a trainer at Exxcel in Newton, said she was delighted to see her athletes racing.
“Having fun outside of the gym and seeing my students in a different atmosphere is really nice,” Linder said.
Confetti, color and cheer kicked off the runners around 2:30 p.m. in two separate runs.
Anatoly Prekrasnyy of Cambridge and 2021 Boston Marathon finisher, won the race in 15 minutes and 10 seconds. Prekrasnyy said he used to volunteer for Peace Sunflower.
“It’s an event I couldn’t miss,” Prekrasnyy said. “It’s not only a great cause, but [it’s?] important to be here to support Ukraine.