Lord of the Rings star and avid long distance runner Sean Astin has signed up to run The Vancouver Sun Run on Sunday, and will be wearing a Boston jersey in homage to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
The Goonies actor will arrive in Vancouver Friday for the Fan Expo at the Vancouver Convention Centre on the weekend.
He contacted Sun Run organizers to register when he found out about the race and its plans to commemorate the Boston terror attacks Monday that left three people dead, including an eight-year-old boy, and more than 170 injured.
In an interview Thursday, Astin said he’s always saddened when there is violence, but the attacks hit him hard because of his close ties with the running community.
“I just skipped over shock and went straight to fury,” he said. “Since then I’ve just been running hot … so when I found about (The Sun Run) on social media, well, I just wanted to be a part of it.”
Astin, who has run the Los Angeles Marathon four times, said he was excited to be running in Vancouver, a city he knows well having filmed here several times. He’s hoping for a 10 km time of about 57 minutes.
“I am just so damn proud to be running with thousands of Canadians, it just melts away all the anger (about the bombings).”
Astin said he has many friends in this country, and in his experience they’re always banding together to help others.
“When bad things happen you can always count on Canadians to demonstrate a show of support,” he said. “That’s what I love about Canadians, they are always visibly caring about each other. And that’s what we need, to double down on caring about each other.”
Astin is part of an inspirational running campaign called Run 3rd that encourages people to “run first for me, second for family, and third for a you,” or a cause that helps people.
In Astin’s case, he’ll be running for his wife and three daughters. He’s also planning to run the San Francisco Marathon this summer, if he isn’t too busy shooting a film.
The 42-year-old actor, director, voice artist and producer is best known for his film roles as Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Mikey Walsh in The Goonies. He also appeared as Lynn McGill in the fifth season of 24.