Today I was interviewed by the Hampshire Gazette and they asked why do I run the Boston Marathon and if it weren’t for the tragedy last year would I still be running? It got me thinking about what the Boston Marathon means to me…. and why I want to go back every year. It is tough to train through the winter being an alpine ski coach at Stowe Mountain Resort. Skiing takes priority and running takes a back seat as soon as the last marathon is complete in November. Running again in January — a few miles at a time and trying to build up for confidence and being ready for the “Big Dance” is on my mind, and some yearsI I get more training than others. This year I feel great — just enough training in to be strong and ready. The excitement of being on the Western Mass Distance Project team, and motivated by all the power of my team mates makes you want to push and be strong to finish well as a team. But to remember my roots of running my first marathon in Montreal and qualifying for Boston in 1989 — I realize that the coveted BQ and experience is something I work hard for every year and race day is where I show up and make my mark each year. This year – my 10th Boston Marathon – 5th consecutive will be more meaningful than ever because of the spirit of the running community coming together to be Boston Strong, mourn the deaths taken on that tragic day and pay tribute to those that were injured and affected at the finish line at last year’s race.
A main reason I love to compete in the Boston Marathon is because of the amazing runners I have met throughout the years — as an athlete running for the American Cancer Society DetermiNation team, those runners will always be a part of my life, and be my running friends for life, as we continue the fight against cancer and their support of me through my cancer treatment just 3 short years ago.
Here is this year’s line-up of my dear friends that will be in Boston on Patriot’s Day
Charlie Johnston – Sparks, Nevada #292
I met Charlie when his hair was short and dyed pink for the 2009 Boston Marathon in honor of his mom Marilyn who is a breast cancer survivor. He is one bundle of fire and an amazing writer who used to write for Nevada magazine and is now in grad school. …… His Mom & Sis Lily are dedicated to supporting him at his marathons traveling everywhere and cheering him on! Last year sister Lily was diagnosed with breast cancer , making us all fight harder to fund and find a cure. He will always be dear to me as a part of my “Dream Team” of supporters! We have become better friends through the years in Boston each year and ran NYC in 2011. His passion for the sport of running and humor is quite a mix and fun to follow!
From Charlie “Forrest Gump said that he ran to get where he was going, but didn’t know that it would ever take him anywhere. For my part, I never dreamed that a little running would ever get me on the news (several times, come to think of it) much less bring such love, support, and admiration from all of the people that I am so lucky to call friends and the community that I am so proud to call home. Thank you all for making April 15, 2014 immensely better than April 15, 2013, and for encouraging me everyday to be a stronger runner and a better man. “
“In the closing miles of races, when my pace feels too hard, when the going gets toughest, and when I need to dig the deepest, I repeat to myself over and over and over: “You can suffer anything for five more miles…you can suffer anything for four and half more miles…you can suffer anything for four more miles…etc., etc.,” until mental strength overcomes physical exhaustion or I cross the finish, whichever comes first”
Patrick Silverio – Guam & New Jersey #6863
I met Patrick & his wife Jeanne 3 years ago through DetermiNation Boston sharing his passion for fighting cancer through the American Cancer Society, by raising funds for a cure and a cancer free world for his soon to be 30 month old son Troy #futurerunner — Every year Patrick finishes Boston he gives his medal to his beautiful wife.
This year nursing a calf injury he finds strength from the words of Lou Holtz: “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Regarding his left calf injury, here’s another one from Lou Holtz, which is sure going to be my mantra come Marathon Monday: “Don’t tell me how rocky the sea is, just bring the darn ship in.”
From Patrick – “I’ll bring this ship across that finish line on Boylston Street no matter how I feel. This race is for those lost and injured last year. This race is a victory lap to honor them and to thank all the first responders, volunteers, and spectators of this great marathon!”
Jacque Wilkins – Washington DC & Atlanta, Georgia #12666
Jacque is an amazing powerhouse of “positivity”! Her smile radiates the the race course and in the hospitals where she is earning her Physician’s Assistant certification through George Washington University. I met her at the start line in Boston 2013 and we enjoyed the pre-race craziness of Athlete’s Village together. We ran the Mad Marathon in Vermont together and her nationwide pursuit through marathon pacing has her in the 50 state marathon club. Since meeting her I have followed her pacing, marathoning and passion in the pageant world teaching young women the meaning of giving back to communities and the importance of building self esteem. She is a true beauty inside and out.
From Jacque: “Words cannot express how blessed I am to be able to run in The Boston Marathon this coming Monday, April 21st. I dedicate each mile in honor of the victims and their families of the tragic events that occurred last year. Boston stands STRONG and I cannot wait to unite with my fellow runners to celebrate the strength and resilience of this beloved city!! #EmbraceTheRace #BostonStrong2014“
Cara Turano – Atlanta, Georgia #11968
I will always remember her as my Batgirl “Bat Chica” who paced me at the 2010 Chicago Marathon when I was 2/3 of the way through my chemo treatments for lymphoma. She is always so giving of herself and is the epitome of the volunteer. Her stellar leadership and work with the Junior League of Atlanta gives back to that community in so many ways. Originally I met her through DetermiNation and she has always been a part of my “Dream Team”. I cherish my memories of her mom, Nancy who I met in Chicago and got to know and love. Through all the trials in her life Cara grows stronger and faster every race. Her antics and stories of her travels and interactions with people make me smile every day! Update on Cara – she is
One of my latest favorite “Cara-Isms”
“I finally caved and went to see a doctor after weeks of constant coughing. The convo went like this:
Dr. Harris: You’re tough but you’re stupid.
Me: I know…I suck at resting.
Dr. Harris: After 5 days of allergies or a cold, viruses and bacteria are in there. You can’t fight it alone without rest.
Dr. Harris: Yeah it’s like sitting in your own 5 day old dirty diaper, stewing in your own poo…
Me: Stop. I got it. Point well made…disgustingly well made…”
Cara’s mantra these days? “Success comes from doing the same ‘right’ things over and over again. You will improve and your improvements result in success!”
Here below she is featured in Bloomberg Businessweek for her style sporting Tom James clothing
Kevin Babb, Austin, Texas #6338
Since 2006 Kevin has lost 40 pounds while discovering endurance sports. This is his second Boston Marathon. I love going on virtual runs with Kevin in Hawaii, watching his progress and success in racing Ironman triathlons and supporting his partner in Ultra racing too. We met through the American Cancer Society and our friendship bond has grown because of our mutual love of running, health and fighting cancer. Kevin ran an amazing Boston last year and is back this year for a repeat performance!
Kevin’s mantra? “I Can I Will and Run With Joy”
Stacy Dietzler – Memphis, Tennesee & Atlanta, Georgia #30781
Stacy and I met through the American Cancer Society Relay For Life efforts 13 years ago, when she was a staff in the Corporate Communications department at the National Home Office. Our connection to running turned into a long time friendship and now she is coming to Boston! An alumni of UMASS Amherst, Stacy is running Boston and raising funds to support the Codman Academy and has raised more than $6000 through this current effort. Her marketing skills are paying off for the good of so many! The funds will be applied toward Codman’s Wellness program, which encompasses our physical fitness program as well as our nutrition and health program. Mbakwe Okafor, Wellness Director, was named as one of Boston Globe’s “Globe 100: Most Innovative People in Massachusetts 2012” for his efforts around nutrition and wellness at Codman. In 2010, Codman was recognized as the first and highest scoring school in the state to win the Gold-Level Massachusetts School Wellness Award, given by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the MA Department of Public Health.
From Stacy – “My mantra is perseverance which is my “go to” for my outlook personally and professionally. Keep on keeping on and you will be a success!
Boston Marathon 2014 will be here before we know it! Hoping for blue skies, cool temps, tail wind and happy faces along the way come Monday morning! Looking forward to seeing all my friends and making new ones along the way! Cheers to everyone running Boston this year — it will be a super charged emotional event, this year more than ever!
Where will you be on Marathon Monday?
Thanks for your support!