Growing up in the small Massachusetts town of Westford, I enjoyed being involved in athletics just like any young child would be. I actively participated in the recreational sports such as soccer, baseball, basketball and lacrosse. As much as I enjoyed these sports I openly hated the act of running. I chose to play goalie and forward in soccer so I could limit the use of my legs as much as possible. In lacrosse I played defense because I could camp around the net and avoid running up and down the field. It was no secret to my coaches and parents that I hated running. My father would always try to find ways to make me more active, he loved the fact that I was interested in sports but wished I showed more desire to run. When my father was younger he ran the Toronto Marathon and attempted the Boston Marathon, but was unable to finish due to cramping.
The first time I ran a road race was when I was about 16 years old. Each summer my town puts on a series of 5k runs, I never had any interest in running these until one day my father gave me a proposition. He offered me an ice cream sundae if I ran in the race. I jumped at this proposition because the sundae would be from Kimballs Farm in Westford, this offer was just to good to pass up. The day of the race I went into it looking forward to my post race treat not understanding what I would be going through. I had never ran three miles in my life, so this would be a first. I showed up, grabbed my number and was ready to go.
Their were about 200 people running in the 5k this day. I was placed in the first wave as a registered on race day, when the gun went off I was on my way. Soon after the start I was already walking, so lets just say the final results were not good. I finished the race that day in second to last place. The only person I beat was a lady who was about 65 years old, and the only reason I beat her was because she stopped to walk with me. This 5k run was one of the worst things physically I ever got involved with when I was growing up. I hated every second of that run, but at least I got a Kimball’s sundae out of it.
Now lets jump ahead 7 years in my life. I am now 23 years old and 2 weeks away from my first ever marathon. on April 19th, 2010 at 10:30 am I will begin my 26.2 trek from Hopkinton to Boylston st in Boston when I run in the 114th Boston Marathon while running to help find a cure for Cancer with Dana Farber. Between that 5k when I was 16 to the time I chose to run the marathon, not much changed. I still despised running and didn’t enter another race until after I was accepted to the DANA FARBER MARATHON CHALLANGE (DFMC).
I first chose to run the marathon in July through Dana Farber because I wanted to make a difference in others lives by doing my part by helping to find a cure for cancer. Last year while watching the marathon from my Beacon St apartment in Brookline, my first aspirations to run Boston developed. Finally I made the decision to send my application into Dana Farber to run the marathon in the memory of my great-uncle and my grandfather, who both passed away after a long struggle with cancer. I also chose to run and honor a high school classmate who was able to overcome his battle with cancer. After a long wait I received my acceptance and was now part of the DFMC team. I set my fundraising goal and was now on my way with training and to do my part to help find a cure for Cancer
More coming later this week on what it takes to train to run 26.2 miles, and what the experience is like running on behalf of Dana Farber and running for a cure. To make a donation please visit http://www.runDFMC.org/2010/gregc
Every penny counts.