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Akron: Patriotic runner takes nation by storm

7:06 PM, Apr 16, 2013   |    comments
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Photo: DevilStrip Dolly's Facebook page taken by Georgie D'Kay.

AKRON -- The dreary skies were ignited in a blaze of red, white and blue as one man pounded the pavement Tuesday morning just one day after the Boston Marathon attack.

Carrying an American flag, his patriotism has become a hot topic in the social media universe as he proudly wound his way through Akron bearing the stars and stripes.

Georgie D'Kay, owner of the DevilStrip Dolly's art gallery in Akron, spotted the runner and snapped a photo of him.

Within a few hours of posting the image on DevilStrip Dolly's Facebook page, it became a social media sensation with thousands of people across the country sharing it out to their friends.

Here's the message D'Kay included with the image:

Mornin, Creeps! Georgie here. Help me get this guy some recognition. He deserves it.

The morning after an attack on our country (be it from outside our borders or within) leaves us shaken and wondering about the kind of world we live in. But then you see something like this in your own town. A lone runner and his tribute to the Boston Marathon bombings.

I first saw this guy around the Wallhaven area on Market and was unable to get a shot. On my way back from taking my kid to school, I decided to take the long way home straight down Market because I figured he was headed towards Downtown Akron. And there he was. I stopped my car in a lot just ahead of him and as he went by I said, "You rock" and he gave me a big grin as he passed by. That's when I snapped this pic.

You sir, are awesome. And the sight of you brought tears of pride to my eyes. Nice job.

Maybe we should pass this around so that maybe we can find out his story. He should be on the front page of the paper. Anyone know who he is?

Georgie D'Kay

Shortly after the picture was posted, many started wondering who the spirit-lifting runner was.

After seeing the viral photo himself, Gabe Pszonowsky stepped forward claiming to be the mystery man.

"Hey - thanks for the shout out," he commented on the picture. "That was me running with the flag this morning. I can't take credit for the idea, it was suggested by Team Red, White & Blue. Any veterans or people who are interested in showing support should check out the local group we are re-starting. Team RWB Cleveland/Akron. Team Read White & Blue is a national organization focused on getting veterans more active, both physically and socially."

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