Bob, Cambridge Running a marathon has been on my goals list for so long I never thought it would happen. I moved to Cambridge in 2011 and in 2012 began training to run my first half marathon in Feb 2013. In April, I ran the BAA 5K the day before the marathon for the unusual reason that I wanted one of those cool BAA shirts. When the bombings took place and subsequently the shooting of Officer Collier at MIT only blocks from where I live, I was upset but still felt like I was on the outside looking in – hadn’t lived here long, the 5K was far from the marathon, I didn’t go watch the race… In 1993 I was visiting my mother – Rita Trotta and she introduced me as her nephew three times in less than an hour. She would get worse quickly and die seven years later. My sons were never old enough to really share any good memories of her. In the year following my mother’s death, my father-in-law – Michael Klapper, began a steep decline from Alzheimer’s. He had survived several concentration camps during the Holocaust but in his later years, he was no match for this disease. In May 2013 I ran Boston’s Run to Remember as a first time member of the Alzheimer’s Association team. This experience led me to their Run to End Alzheimer’s marathon team – an incredible group of dedicated and talented runners, volunteers, staffers and families that have truly changed my life. On April 21, I get to give a little back to the community to help the healing process, honor my Mom and father-in-law, help the Alzheimer’s Association continue its great work, and check off that item on the goals list.
Jonathan, Wappingers Falls, NY My name is Verlaine and my marathon story is about my brother Jonathan who is profoundly autistic. He has an incredible story to tell, but his autism severely limits his ability to read/write and express himself. Eight years ago, we (his family) enrolled Jonathan (16) in a special needs running program and at first Jonathan struggled mightily to even finish a single lap. Our mother Olga would run with him and most of the time would have to literally drag him by the inside of his waistband in order to keep him from stopping every couple of feet. Jonathan's inability to seek out and find new activities made it necessary for us to introduce him into many different activities (including bowling, basketball, etc). After 4 months, Olga was ready to quit and move on to another activity because of Jonathan's lack of progress. A coach named Vincent Del-Cid not only helped convince us to keep Jonathan in the program, Vincent committed to training Jonathan 3 times a week. Jonathan fell in love with running and over the next year and a half he lost more than 20 pounds and naturally got faster and built up incredible endurance. On Nov, 2 2008, after only a year and a half of running, Jonathan finished his first marathon (with his coaches nearby every step of the way) in NYC with a time of 4 hours and 49 minutes!!! Since then, Jonathan has run eleven marathons and has truly fallen in love with the sport of running. Last year, Jonathan was 3/4 of a mile from Boylston when the bombs blew, but luckily his coaches escorted him to safety. Jonathan has no idea what happened and is currently eagerly training to run and FINISH the Boston Marathon this year!! Jonathan is 25 years old.
Bill, Dudley We are running for Krystle Campbell. She was one of the innocent spectators killed during last year's Boston Marathon. Krystle was a vibrant, hard-working woman who worked 80 hours a week to pay her way to the University of Massachusetts. A scholarship was created in her name to fund educational opportunities for other UMass students to help keep her legacy alive. To learn more about our efforts, please visit Runforkrystle.com.
Jen, Scituate Last year I asked my dad what he wanted for his 70th birthday. I was thinking a party, a small trip..his response, "I want to run the marathon w my girls". I wasn't surprised. We are a running family, my dad and 3 sisters have each run numerous marathons. He hadn't run a marathon in 20 years then at age 68 decided to do Boston again. This celebration of his 70th was so appropriate. It was an annual tradition growing up cheering for the runners. We would pack lunches and head to heartbreak hill. Whether we knew the runners are not we cheered loudly and later in life we were those runners. My sisters and I have carried on the tradition of bringing our kids in each year to cheer for the runners. The Boston Marathon continues to be one of my favorite days of the entire year! Last year was had an amazing day.. filled with love, inspiration and pride. We were stopped at 25.5. On April 21st we will finish what we started!
MaryAnne, Bristol, RI A marathon is always a test of spirit as well as the physical being. I considered myself incredibly lucky last year, my family and friends were all safe. My son, a senior at UMass Dartmouth, stayed home to watch the family dog. Fate was kind to us. I was stopped at mile 20 - it would be 5 hours before I got back to the hotel and reunited with my husband. Over the summer it set in, I began to process the events and my own fears during the hours of that day. Family and friends were asking why would want to run again? It didn't make sense to them. It made perfect sense to me. It goes to the heart of why runners run. We run to overcome our own limitations and expand our abilities. And, we run because it is the one sport that crosses so many social barriers. It's not unusual for perfect strangers to talk with each other to cut through the nervous tension at starting line or on the course. It unites us in a unique way. It was a difficult winter to train in and each day I braved the cold and snow, I would tell myself this was one small test of spirit. It's fitting that the Boston Marathon is run in Spring - the season of renewal.
Heather, San Diego I'm running to honor Boston-native and former Navy SEAL, Glen Doherty. Glen was one of the Americans killed in the September 11th, 2012 terrorist attack that took place in Benghazi, Libya. Glen died saving others from the US embassy, and is a true American hero. We were roommates in San Diego, California before he left for his last and final deployment to Libya. We were training partners, who competed in Ironman triathlons, Crossfit, and just about anything "outdoorsy" that we could participate in. Glen had a love for life and adventure, and I'll dedicate my miles to him on Marathon Monday as I raise money for the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation. I'm a Morning News feature reporter for KSWB (yes, I've actually reported "panda watch"), so I'm training on a busy schedule with minimal sleep! I'm also planning my wedding (in September) and will be running side by side with my fiancé Sean in Boston. We have to cross the finish line before we walk down the aisle! We are so excited to be in Sean's hometown for the marathon, and we're looking forward to race day!
Jim, Stratham, NH This year's Boston Marathon will be my 100th marathon. I run to help 30 million Americans who suffer from Liver disease. It all began in 2000, in Boston, as I ran my first race - ever - in memory of my Dad who died of liver disease even though he didn't smoke and hardly drank. Making this Milestone is just part of the story… Being just 2/3 of a mile from the Finish Line last year when the bombs went off and then seeing the chaos and Boston blue marching over to prevent marathoners from running to the scene – but the old guy here jumped a barrier and then spent 90 treacherous minutes looking for my daughter Cait, who has been at the Finish Line waiting for me for all but one of my 12 Bostons…and during that time, how so many strangers offered help and their cell phones and directions and a hug to a distressed Dad…it’s as vivid a recall and a memory to me now as it was on April 15, 2013. And so this FUNraising effort, in memory of my Dad, exactly how I ran my first marathon ever in Boston in 2000, as a fund-raiser for the American Liver Foundation. Heartfelt thanks for those of you who have donated to the http://go.liverfoundation.org/goto/jmiller...or and to those who have bid www.32auctions.com/100marathons The push for the next 15 days is to connect with Strangers to me…yet known to you, and who might be inclined and interested to visit either of my above links – which are live – and to make any sort of donation…this is my focus for the next 15 days (as well as being in the gym cuz there’s a reason they call it Heartbreak Hill!!)
Alexandra, Boston Last year, on April 15th, I set out to reach my goal of running a marathon. After being stopped just a half mile before the finish line, this year the marathon has taken on a whole other meaning. I am returning to finish what I started and reclaim the finish line. I am running for Martin Richard and all those who will never have the opportunity to run a marathon of their own. I am proud to be running for Brigham and Women's Hospital again, helping patients receive life saving treatment. I was proud to be associated with them after the events of last year and want to continue to support advancements in medicine. On the 21st, I am looking forward to crossing that finish line - a task that has been seventeen months in the making. The picture included is of me at the finish line, when I completed the last several miles of the course on my own two weeks after the marathon. This year I will have the chance to complete it with my friends and family there supporting me.
????????????????????????????????????My husband Tom and I ran Boston 2013 in honor of our close friend and local American hero, Glen Doherty. Glen and Tom grew up in Winchester, MA and remained close throughout the years. In our 20’s, Glen went on to enlist in the Navy and became a Navy SEAL specialized both as a sniper and as a medic. He served several tours in Iraq and was highly respected amongst his peers and commanders alike. Glen was killed on September 11th, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya defending the freedoms we all enjoy as Americans. He went to the aid of Ambassador Stevens and other Americans working in our consulate when they were attacked by terrorists. To honor Glen’s amazing spirit and keep it alive, the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation was created. Our mission is to provide scholarships to Special Operations soldiers and their families. Our goal is to help them succeed in transitioning to civilian life. Our Boston Marathon team motto is “Glen Would GO.” Glen did go, to the aid of our diplomats. Glen did go, to fight side by side with fellow Navy SEAL, Ty Woods. Glen did go, to stand up for our freedoms as Americans. Now it is our turn to GO 26.2 miles in honor of Glen. Be on the lookout for our team of 5 runners wearing “Glen Would GO 26.2” shirts. Four of us have close personal ties to Glen while our 5th runner is a military wife, dedicated to helping servicemen and women any way she can. We hope to double last year’s fundraising and generate at least $50,000 in this year’s campaign. For more information about the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation, please see our webpage: www.GlenDohertyFoundation.org. Pictured: Kristin & Tom Donahue running for Team GDMF Boston 2013
Shannon, Bellingham My husband and I will be running our first Boston Marathon® for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). If you were to flashback to 8 years ago, we would say the reason we would be running would be for my sister, Maggie, who is a cancer survivor and lifelong patient of The Jimmy Fund. Weeks before beginning her sophomore year of high school, Maggie was MedFlighted to Boston Children’s Hospital to be treated for a massive brain bleed. She was diagnosed with a rare, malignant sarcoma tumor. Thanks to Maggie’s resilient attitude, support from family and friends, and the expertise of specialists at BCH, JF, and DFCI, she is cancer-free. It is from her that we draw so much inspiration. What we thought and hoping was over for our family revealed itself again in my dad, but without the same success. Our 60-year-old family man, lover of life, passed away peacefully with us by his side on August 6, 2013. His journey with cancer began over a year ago when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. With utmost grace and determination, he underwent treatment/surgery at DFCI and received a clean bill of health. Then, a year after his initial diagnosis, we received a call. It was my dad, his voice cracking, telling us that his latest scan showed the cancer that was once thought to have been removed had metastasized. The prognosis? A year. Weeks went by and my dad began to experience uncontrollable pain. The one-year prognosis dramatically became reduced to days and he was discharged to home hospice care. We are running for those we have loved and lost, those who have fought and won, and those facing this awful disease. It is our hope to have an impact, no matter the size, to lead to a world without cancer.
Beth, Amesbury My brother, John, and I did not start running until we were in our 30’s. We always played sports and were active, but it wasn’t until recently that we started running and entering races. We ran our first marathon in Chicago in 2011 when I was 34 and he was 36. Since then, we’ve been traveling to different destinations across the country to run marathons and half marathons. Running has kept us close in our adult years. He is one of my best friends. Since running Chicago, we decided that if you live in Massachusetts and run marathons, you HAVE TO run Boston at least once. Since I qualified in Chicago for the 2013 Boston Marathon, we decided that would be the one. John did not qualify, so he found a charity that means a lot to him, Go Kids, and after being accepted, he raised the money to run the race. We were on our way! Both of us finished the marathon last year. I was already back at the hotel and in the shower when the bombs went off. John was collecting his belongings from one of the school buses. We had achieved our goal of running Boston, but the senseless act that occurred that day left a mark on our accomplishment. I had qualified again that day for this year (2014), so a “one time thing” became something we HAD TO run again. We run again because we can…
Amanda, Peabody Almost one year ago next month my sister and I were blessed not with the experience of watching our dad run across the finish line and accomplishing his goal, but blessed to have survived an act of terror. We were both stationed at our annual spots at the heart of the Finish waiting for our dad to run by. He was stopped a half a mile away. First an explosion to our left, seconds later to our right. Boylston was blanketed in silence, pavement was painted red, and we sat with our hands over our heads and our eyes clinched shut. The images and memories of those forever lasting moments hardly ever leave my mind until these past few months when I began to train as a member of the MGHfC Oncology Marathon team. I decided the best way for me to cope with being at that finish line again one year later was to cross it. I have always been a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason. This experience has been an opportunity to create a reason that can benefit myself and others around me. I am alive. I am well. And I am ready to prove myself worthy of this chance at life I have been given. On April 21, 2014 I am running for Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, Sean Collier, and Lu Lingzi. For their families. For the cancer care provided at MGHfC. For my dad’s last half mile. For my sister’s peace of mind. For my mom. For my city. For me. I want these 26.2 miles to be one of my many reasons to live the life I have been given the chance to live. The picture provided was taken of my dad, my sister and I reuniting after the bombing.
Brian, Sturbridge This will be my 7th consecutive Boston Marathon in honor of my patient partner, from my hometown of Sturbridge, David St. Denis. I have been running for Boston Children's Hospital's "Miles For Miracles" team each year. This picture was taken at mile 13 of last years marathon when I stopped to get a high five as I do every year to greet David. He is such a brave boy who has undergone multiple life saving open heart surgeries at Boston Children's. Last year was a tale of two days. It started out as such a nice day and then the unthinkable happened. I feel awful for everyone affected by last years tragedy. Let's all keep running strong. Boston Strong!
Brooke, Hingham We run for you For your courage devotion honor sacrifice We run for you For the goodbyes the tears the unknown We run for you For missed birthdays anniversaries holidays weddings births We run for you For risking your life defending us sacrificing all We run for you For broken bodies broken hearts invisible wounds We run for you For our heroes We run We run We run for you Thank you I am running the for the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation. Glen, first a Navy SEAL, then a security contractor, was one of four men killed September 11, 2012 in the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Glen's heroism and ultimate sacrifice saved many lives that day and is symbolic of his devotion to a country he loved. The Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation supports current and former special operations soldiers and their families with the means to transition and succeed in civilian life. As a military spouse I am proud to be a part of a foundation that is committed to supporting our service members. Our troops work selflessly to protect our country and our freedoms. The GDMF strives to make a difference in the lives of those who make great sacrifices for all of us. What a wonderful way to say thank you! I did not know Glen, but over the last 18 weeks I have come to know some of his wonderful friends and family and in turn they have helped me know Glen. Their love and dedication to keeping Glen's spirit alive and to supporting our military professionals and their families is admirable. I am proud and privileged to GO 26.2 for Glen, GDMF and our honorable service members.
Kevin, Portland, ME My son, Sam, has had a rocky start. Two days after arriving home from the delivery room, his mother and I rushed to the ER at our local hospital, where we would later learn that a rare virus had infected Sam's blood and was busy destroying his liver. At 16 days old, Sam was transferred to Boston Children's Hospital where he would become the third-youngest liver transplant recipient in the history of Boston Children's Hospital. Stated as a simple, unfathomable sentence, without the specialized care that Sam received at Boston Children's Hospital, he would not be the healthy six-month-old that he is today. And so, in honor of Sam and thousands of other children, I will be running the 2014 Boston Marathon as part of the Boston Children's Hospital marathon team. I never thought I'd run a marathon, but I also never thought I'd find myself sleeping in a chair in my son's hospital room for months on end, hoping he would find a way to recover, to be healthy for the first time in his life after months of fighting. For Boston, this year's marathon will be a celebration of strength and resilience, and I am grateful to run, and to raise funds, so that others families might celebrate some day, too. Please visit http://fundraise.childrenshospital.org/goto/runforsam to contribute.
Kai, Roxbury As we are approaching the anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings, there are many touching stories airing across media platforms. I think there is powerful narrative that hasn’t been written or told. I believe there is room for a story about a Roxbury resident who created a platform of triumph over trauma in her community by developing a program that explores the power of sisterhood, safe-havens and finishing life’s race. My name is Kai grant and I am a Roxbury resident, Entrepreneur and Boston Marathon bombing survivor. I have run for the 3 past consecutive years in the Boston Marathon to raise money for my Roxbury-based Diamond Girls Boston organization’s Summer Program. http://diamondgirlsboston.org/boston-marathon/ Unfortunately for me, the participants of the Summer Program, and our community, the trauma didn’t end on April 15, 2013. We live in an area of Boston where a whopping *219 shootings have occurred since the Marathon Bombings. For this very reason, we host the organization’s Summer program the height of the city’s violence peak. (*Source: The Blackstonian- April 1, 2014) The 2014 “Summer of Epic Entrepreneurship” program is held for 6-weeks- from June to August. The program hours, 3:00pm-8:00pm at the Yawkey Club of Roxbury site, are set to offset fear and social isolation (staying at home), hanging out on the street, and exposure to or participation in urban violence and delinquent behavior. Diamond Girls Boston’s Summer program lends the safe-space, curriculum, tools and mentoring that help the teens overcome trauma and focus on positive future outcomes through Entrepreneurship. Every story is inspiring. Each one lending a moment of healing for all those, like myself that were Marathon Bombing Survivors. But this story speaks a daily trauma that can only be eliminated if a community rises up and decides to be the change they want to see.
Kathleen, Winthrop Caroline Weaver and I first met when she was a freshman on the swim team at Harvard and I was a senior. Both being from the New England area (me from Worcester and her from South Burlington, VT), we instantly bounded. When I graduated and stayed in the area, we continued to stay close. February 2013 was Caroline's last college swim meet and she was ready to hang up her suit. She had secured herself a spot in the Boston Marathon, something she always wanted to do her senior year of college, but only had 6 weeks to train. I was training as well and we decided we would run together. Boston Marathon 2013 was a great one - we started out slow and were excited to be in the mix of it all. Whenever we ran by fans who weren't cheering, we would shout to them and gain energy from the crowds. Towards the end, we started to get tired. We slowed down as we started to see the city in front of us. As we came down Comm Ave, we heard the boom. We were stopped on the corner of Hereford and were sent home. Because of the need to slow down, we stayed out of harm's way that day and have the good fortune of being able to run again this year. This year we're determined. We've run every weekend together, no matter the temperature or weather. We will run Boston together this year for all those who can't. We have a new appreciation for the power of being positive after this training season. We're swimmers turned runners and we can't wait.
Marjorie, Lebanon, NH I was inspired to run my first Boston Marathon while cheering on my former HS track coach who was running his 33rd consecutive Boston in 2010. I so wanted to experience the fantastic love and support the fans expressed to every runner as I stood waiting for my friend to run by. I thought I would run it once and that would be that. However, I caught the marathon bug and here I am four years and 5 marathons later in 2014. I recently took a trip to Haiti and had an opportunity to teach music to some of the children of Sous Savanne; the village in which we were working. Unfortunately, too many of the children did not own their own instrument and either had to share with 2 and 3 other children or had no instrument at all. I decided to use my Boston Marathon as a vehicle to raise funds to purchase musical instruments for the kids of Haiti who I had the great privilege to work with. It is my prayer and my hope that I can raise enough funds to help supply instruments for the children of Sous Savanne so they can experience the power and wonder of music which transcends all barriers and escape to a place of beauty and hope via their instrument. As I near the last 6 miles when everything in me wants to shut down, I will simply envision the children of Sous Savanne receiving their instruments and the smiles on their faces will get me to the finish!
Manuel, Boston I'm a US Air Force Recruiter in Boston, MA. I've lived in Texas, Mississippi, Florida, Japan, Afghanistan, Qatar, and Massachusetts and I've visited many more places far too many to list. I met my loving and caring wife by the name of Mariesa and she has held on to my heart for nearly ten years. When we moved to Boston we knew no one. When we moved here we thought Boston is a city full of mean grins, cold shoulder people, and accents you can hardly understand. Right? Actually, that's far from it. Boston is a place where a stranger will give their shirt off their back to make you comfortable in their town. Boston is a town where hundreds of people snow shovel their neighbors' sidewalks in the early hours to show community, love, and change. Marathon by definition means any long and arduous undertaking, a footrace of 26.2 miles, or something only crazy people do. Marathoning is something new to me and the training has been no easy feat. A marathon is a fitness goal most people only dream about. It makes a person push their limits and achieve more than the average person. This is one of my dreams. Fundraising for Lu Lingzi Foundation offers opportunity for aspiring young adults to attend Boston University through the family's name to pursue their dreams. The Lingzi family has given the ultimate sacrifice in a life of their loved one. Raising money to help other students pursue their education like Lu Lingzi is an honor. As a Boston Marathon volunteer in 2013 I feel this cause hits extremely close to home. As an Airman in the US Air Force I fully understand and support the meaning to serve, protect, and give without the expectation of something in return. My goal is to support the Lingzi foundation in every way I can while accomplishing my dreams of completing my first marathon.
Kerrie, Greenland, NH I am running the Boston Marathon as part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team in memory of my incredible father. I lost my father to pancreatic cancer last Christmas. He was diagnosed in late April and had surgery shortly thereafter. The surgery brought the shocking news that the cancer was much worse than expected and that my father would have only a few months left. My father’s goal was to make it to Christmas and knowing how strong my father’s will always was, we all knew we would have that last Christmas together. With the exception of my father’s lack of mobility, his spirit was strong, and we continued to share stories and laughs and all of the treasures that make family experiences so memorable. It all became very real on Christmas day, as we were presented with a paradigm shift in my father’s condition. We made the best of a difficult day and as a family drew on each other’s strengths. As Christmas drew to a close and the hour became late, my father called us all in to see him. He took this opportunity to say goodbye to each and every one of us. In my last conversation with my father, we talked about my running. My Dad grabbed my hand and said something I will never forget … “Kerrie, we grew our passion for Dana-Farber together and now I have given you the personal story you were missing. Run that marathon and know I will be with you every step of the way.” I will run strong for my father, for many others who lost their battle with cancer, and for the countless others still fighting! I have raised over $10,000 for Dana-Farber with ALL THANKS to my many donors, and will continue fundraising until May! www.runDFMC.org/2014/kerriewinsor
Roger, Needham May of 2008 I was 47, weighed ~300 lbs and was informed I was now diabetic. The same week I was told my 9 year old niece Julia was going back to Childrens Hospital thanks to Cystic Fibrosis. Even though I couldn't run 10 yards, I decided to run the 2009 Boston Marathon, lose 50 pounds and raise money for CF. 10 months later I weighed 163 lbs (lost 113 lbs), ran the Boston Marathon nonstop and raised $11K for CF. I made a promise to myself that I would run Boston 2014 to keep the weight off and continue to raise money for CF for Julia. I made a video of my journey and a friend reposted/renamed it "The Most Inspiring Video You Will Ever Watch" (http://youtu.be/Ja9BFx5Mhqo). It went viral with almost 6 million views. Because of its popularity, others reached out to me and I realized that life is about helping others. I now run marathons with people throughout the world. On April 21st I will run the Boston Marathon. It will be my 34th full marathon in 5 years. The Boston Marathon saved my life and gave it purpose. When the bombs went off, even though I wasn't anywhere close, I felt the blast in my heart. I was depressed for a while but fortunately upon receiving my entry for Boston 2014, embraced it and focused on the good. As I did in 2009, I made a video in order to raise money for CF. I just finished it and uploaded it to youtube a few hours ago. I think it does a good job showing my continued optimism and that runners from around the world all share the term "Boston Strong". http://youtu.be/3AsQjx1lxLU
Tom, Holden I came to running late in life. Took my first, tentative 2 miler three years ago, at age 57. You see, growing up, I was bullied because I was not athletic. And that impacted my self-esteem. Then, my best friend--who is 22 years younger than me--convinced me to try running. That first run was a mess--Jared thought he'd have to call the paramedics. But, I did it--and I felt good. I ran my first 5K just 4 months after that first run. Ran my first half marathon less than a year later. Ran the Atlantic City Marathon in October, 2012. Then Jared convinced me that I COULD run Boston--Heartbreak Hill and all! The Boys & Girls Club of Newton asked me to join their fundraising team--at age 59, the first time EVER I had been invited to join a team! I was finally whole. And just 1 month shy of my 60th birthday, I powered up Heartbreak Hill with a HUGE grin on my face. I was less than a mile from the finish line when I was prevented from continuing. And even though I didn't get to cross the finish line, I achieved something far beyond my natural abilities. To boot, I raised $6500.00 for the Boys and Girls Club. Despite the tragedy of the day, I have nothing but happy memories of running Boston. It was my best, most joyful run ever. I am running again this year for the Boys and Girls Club of Newton because it is important for me to give back and to inspire others to reach beyond their self-imposed limits to achieve their goals. I want the kids to know that they CAN do anything they set their minds to. Running has transformed my life...and this year, I WILL cross that finish line!
Danielle, Northbridge My husband works at Elmwood School in Hopkinton. His classroom is the hub for the Scholars and Stars program put on by John Hancock with the Kenyan Elite runners. Every year as a family we prepare for their visit, and then watch as my husband and his school welcome them and host a large media covered celebration. Last year, I wanted to be a part of the marathon personally. While attending a dinner the Saturday before the race I was seated next to the reigning champion Welsley Korir. I was inspired by his athleticism and also philanthropic work. I decided to run bandit on Monday after the last wave of runners because I felt a gut feeling pulling me to do so. The day did not go as planned. My husband and four small children ages 6, 4, and two year old twins were waiting for me at the finish line as the bombs exploded. I was approaching mile 26 when I was stopped by police. Not knowing if my family was injured or alive I jumped off the course with help of two police officers and spent hours searching for them. I finally found them on Mass avenue shaken and emotionally torn apart by what they witnessed. This year has been one of healing and also counting our blessings. The BAA issued me one of the four hundred invitational bibs they offered people "directly and profoundly impacted by the bombings". This year I will run and to pay it forward I have raised close to $1000 each for four charities. I am raising money for Dana Farber, Mass Eye and Ear, Hopkinton PTA, and the Hopkinton Library Expansion. While I realize we are not fully healed, I know being a part of this year's race will bring strength.
Bill, Stoneham I am running the Boston Marathon this year to honor all of the victims and the survivors in recovery. I live in Stoneham and ran the Boston Marathon last year and got stopped at mile 26. I had ten family members near the finish line and only yards away from the second explosion that injured six people from my town, 4 that lost limbs. Last year one month after the Marathon I ran the entire marathon again to honor all of the victims and to raise money for the Stoneham injured. (Stoneham Strong) This year to honor Marc Fucarile's Iron will in recovery I will be running the Boston Marathon and will be running 2,620 miles to represent 26.2 miles for every day that Marc was in the hospital 100 days. I am running to support Marc and his family. This is one father, grandfather, brother, friend helping another father, brother ,friend. My family was so fortunate to escape any physical injury but the emotions of some are raw. In Stoneham we stand strong together united. We are all part of Boston> We are Boston Strong. We will never give up. We don't know the meaning of the words It can't be done. We are back this year Boston Strong to show the world my children, grandchildren that we will triumph over tragedy. The Boston Marathon is a sacred race and a great gathering of our diverse communities that gives me the chills every time I run. We will not be stopped this time and families and friends will celebrate around the world. http://www.gofundme.com/marcfucarile
Tara, Wareham I never thought I would be able to run the Boston Marathon especially after being diagnosed with Lupus. I thought my health would prevent me from finishing the marathon not 2 evil individuals. That day will forever be in my memory and my two youngest daughters still are unable to go into Boston. I was not sure I wanted to run again this year but if I don't that means those two monsters won. My health has made training hard but I will finish this year, for my family and all those effected by the events of that day.
Steven, Norton In 2013 a group of 7 neighbors (6 ran and 1 volunteered) from Norton, MA participated in the Boston Marathon. The group of 7 had previously run several races/events, completed many training and casual runs together. The volunteer was in the stands across from the finish area, he watched and videoed the first of the 6 runners complete the race. He decided to walk down to congratulate his friend and wait for the others in the finish area. As he was walking in front of the stand the first explosion occurred. The other 5 runners were stopped on the course about a mile from the finish. The next few hours were chaotic for everyone. Trying to locate each other and make sure we were all ok and to check on our families and friends (one group of supporters was at the Forum one of the runner’s was part of the Joe Andruzzi foundation). We were all physically ok. The volunteer remembers Carlos Arredondo handing out American flags to a family in the stands and then seeing Jeff Bauman and other victims being brought to the medical tent. He drained his phone battery as he tracked his friends along the course, so he left the area for the T to make it home. The other runners eventually found each other and all piled into a jeep driven by a runner’s relative. We have continued to run and train, the 5 runners who were not able to cross the line will run again, the volunteer will again be setting up the finish line. The 1 runner who did cross the line is hoping to receive a number to join his friends and be with them when they finish and can say “I finished Boston”! That is why we run.
Nancy, Newburyport I am 67 years old and my last marathon was 5 years ago. It was my 26th marathon and the distance was getting harder on my body. It took much longer to complete and much longer to recover than it did when I was in my 40's and 50's. But then the bombing occurred last year. Before we actually even knew who did this horrible crime or why, I was shocked that anyone would violate the honor of the Boston Marathon. Even before the grief that followed once we knew people were killed and maimed, I knew that I would be pulled back to the Boston Marathon Course. This year will be my 11th Boston out of my 26 marathons. I had to train all last summer to attempt to qualify for Boston. I succeeded at a marathon in September in PA, and have been training for Boston ever since. So despite all the aches and pains, the setbacks and the costs, I wouldn't want to be any other place in the world on Boston Marathon day than at that start line.
Thomas, Sterling My goal is to carry the Stars and Stripes back to Boston to commemorate the victims of the bombing. I will be carrying two 3 X 5 foot American flags on six foot flag poles for the entire 26.2 miles, wearing a Patriots outfit. For the last year I have run with two flags 6 day a week for one day April 21. I will be running in this years Boston Marathon as a charity runner for Autism. Hope the B.A.A. will let me run with the two flag with the new rules. They can do a background check on me if they like, so I can run the stars and stripes Back to BOSTON!
Jennifer, Quincy My name is Jennifer Kauffman and I never imagined myself participating in a marathon, but I honestly can't think of a better way to mark overcoming obstacles, experiencing breakthroughs, and rising above tremendous challenges. The bombing was an event that literally brought my life to a screeching halt. I was within feet of the first explosion at the finish line. When I look back at the pictures, I realize I am truly lucky to be alive. I sustained, ear, neck, back, and internal injuries affecting my major organs. Equally as traumatic were the emotional injuries. I was laced with tremendous fear and severe anxiety and it has literally taken me months to feel safe in the world again. Surprisingly, life can deliver blessings in the midst of tragedy. I’ve had the opportunity to attend many events recently honoring the survivors. At one such event, I met an amazing man who is a truly a hero, Jimmy Plourde a Boston firefighter and first responder who helped saved many lives. Jimmy's sister is living with lupus. Interestingly a dear friend of mine may also have this horrible disease. When I met Jimmy, I learned the Lupus foundation had 2 charity numbers available. I will need help physically and emotionally to undertake this 26.2 mile journey. With these extra numbers amazing friends have agreed to be by my side in my quest to mark my triumph over tragedy while inspiring others to make a profound difference for people like Jimmy for his courage and selflessness on the day that dramatically changed our lives. It's been challenging training and fundraising for the marathon while getting my life back on track. If you would like to honor the survivors while supporting a hero and a great cause please consider donating and sharing my story.
Kelly, Sterling Two years ago, my dear friend Amy tragically lost her husband when he was killed while changing his tire along the side of a local highway. Chad LeBouf also left behind three young children, the youngest a mere 8 weeks old. Our community was devastated to lose such a loving man, a man who worked tirelessly to provide his family with everything they needed in life. It was heartbreaking to imagine how Amy could possibly get past such an immense loss. Almost immediately, The Greg Hill Foundation reached out to its supporters and provided Amy and the children with financial assistance that allowed them all to focus on grieving and trying to begin a life without Chad. I was in awe of what they were able to do to support my friend in her darkest hour, so it was without any hesitation that I applied for The Greg Hill Foundation's Boston Marathon team to raise money in support of the good they do for local families. I've never run a marathon before, but there is little I wouldn't do to help this foundation. My training, my Boston Marathon journey is in memory of Chad LeBouf and in honor of his wife Amy, a woman stronger than she should ever have to be.
Lauren, South Boston I am running the 118th Boston Marathon in memory of my brother, Derek, who I lost to suicide in 2011 and to help Samaritans, Inc., a Boston-based suicide prevention organization, raise awareness and much needed funds for its life-saving services. The loss of my brother led me to start looking for ways that I could bring hope to others that have lost a loved one to suicide. I have become passionate in raising awareness around the stigma of suicide and this is what brought me to Samaritans. Running has been a passion of mine for the last four years. I have run several 5Ks and half marathons, but this will be my first marathon. It is a privilege to be part of the 2014 Samaritans Marathon Team. I am honored to support the good work Samaritans do all day, every day, for so many people in need. Training this winter has brought many challenges. But every time I step outside to train in the freezing cold I’m inspired that I am making a big difference for vulnerable people in my community. I am humbled by the support I have already received in pursuit of my fundraising goal. I am an account executive in a market research firm. For more information please visit: http://www.crowdrise.com/Samaritans2014BostonMarathon/fundraiser/laurengablinske
John, Salem I was going to be one of the first 2 LP (dwarf) runners to complete the marathon in 2013. Unfortunately, like 1000's of other runners, I was stopped prior to the finish line. In 2007 I weighed 195 lbs and made a conscious decision to change my life. In 2009, after watching a video of Dick and Rick Hoyt completing an Ironman, I decided to race in my first triathlon. Since then I have completed more than 30 triathlons, 3 1/2 marathons, and 3 marathons (including Boston and NYC 2013). I want to show everyone that there is no such thing as a marathoner's body. With proper training, commitment, and dedication anyone can run a marathon. Too many times in my life I've been told by people, "You can't do that, you're too small." It's those doubters that get me to the finish line of each and every race.
Melanie, Franklin Running has become my passion in life for so many reasons. From mud runs to marathons and everything in between. I am a cancer survivor who refuses to let anything get in the way of my dreams. Last year I was among the crowd that was stopped from finishing the marathon due to the bombing. It was a day that was painful, scary, and one that will always be in my memory. This year, I will be back at the starting line stronger than I ever thought I could be. My motivation is for my late father who passed away suddenly in 2012. Last year I ran in his honor. This year I will fulfill my commitment to finish this race in his name. I have always been known to push my limits to fulfill a dream, this marathon is no exception. I am more determined than ever to cross the finish line of the 2014 Boston Marathon with pride. I am living proof that you can overcome adversities such as cancer, death, acts of terror, and hardships. Determination, motivation, discipline, perspective, and passion will always guide you to the finish; this has become my way of life. I will be running for my father, myself, and everyone that has been affected by the bombings. I am and will forever be Boston Strong.
Nancy, Hudon, NH I started running after giving birth to my daughter in 2008. My co-worker inspired me to start running. As daunting as the first step was, I quickly learned how much I loved what running did for me as a person. I felt stronger and confident overall. I ran my first half in 2009 and in 2011 I ran my first full marathon in Providence. Last year's Boston was my first Boston and what would have been my 4th marathon. I was stopped at mile 26 and was told I couldn't go any further. I tried walking to the finish line after being so close. I could see and smell what was happening; I was scared and frustrated that I couldn't finish the race. I am running Boston this year again as a member of Tedy Bruschi's Team and the American Heart Association. I am running in memory of that same co-worker who motivated me to run. He passed away suddenly from a heart attack while we were on our way to run a marathon together in 2012. Every run I do regardless of what I am training for, I think of him. I will always be grateful to Phil for helping me discover what running can do for me as mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and colleague.
Rebecca, Leominster I always said I would do the Boston Marathon. However, I let life get in the way. April 15, 2013, while on vacation, I came up from the beach to see who won the Boston Marathon. I realized something very bad happened in Boston. I remember being crushed and confused, how would anyone bomb something like the Boston Marathon. Two days later, my mother passed away suddenly. As we drove back to Massachusetts from Florida, my mind was flooded with non-stop thoughts. I turned to my husband and announced that I would run the 2014 Boston Marathon. I was compelled. I. NEED. TO. BE. THERE. 2014. From when I first lost my hearing at age 4, my parents were told I would never play sports, never enjoy music and struggle greatly in the world. Flash forward, June 2013 marked my five year chemoversary, survival since I completed horrific treatment for a very aggressive form of breast cancer while I was pregnant. January 5th, I turned 40. I have wanted to run Boston since I was a 16 year old star runner. Twenty-four years is a long time to wait for such an opportunity. Boston Strong. I will show up on April 21, 2014 to represent those killed that sad day and to put one step in front of another for 26.2 miles for all of those that were injured that day.......because I can. Adversity has always repeatedly shown up in my life: since my hearing loss, since my breast cancer, since losing both of my parents after tumultuous years in caring for them, and the 2013 Boston Marathon. Strength. Perseverance. The same qualities that help propel me through life's challenges - not unlike the trying times in training for and completing a marathon. "She believed she could, so she did!"
Kristen, Watertown To me, the marathon represents the final hurdle of getting through the long and cold winters of Boston. As you know, Boston winters are long and tough, especially this winter. I am also an accountant, so this is my busy season. As such, I find myself waking up at 2:30 or 3 in the morning to run a few hours before work. From January to April, my life revolves around work and running. You will most likely find me doing one or the other. By the time the marathon is here, I am tired, sore, hungry and sleepy . I have a love-hate relationship with running, but I find myself addicted to the high at the end of every marathon. I literally say every Marathon, “this is my last marathon…” and then I sign up for another one. I actually quit running marathons for a few years, but was inspired again after the 2012 Boston marathon. I made it my goal to qualify for 2013. I was devastated when I didn’t qualify. However, I kept training and made it a goal to qualify for 2014. Please see the attached picture, when I realized I qualified for Boston in 2012 after a 2 year hiatus from marathon running. It’s moments like that which makes it worth my while. I am lucky enough for a supportive family, especially my older sister who coaches me. She is a Rockstar marathoner (she has run over 35). She gives me the best pep talks before every marathon. The night before every marathon, I pretty much convince myself I can’t do it, but then she snaps me out of it. I am grateful for the fans who are crazy awesome and supportive. In my unbiased opinion, there’s no other marathon like Boston. The greatest fans!
Dan, Hanover My name is Dan and I am inspired to run the 2014 Boston Marathon by my family, friends, and community. Not only have all my family and friends been there to support me but I am especially inspired by my father who serves on the Boston Police force. After last year, it is important to me that I finish this race for them. The Boston College community, as well as the community in Hanover, has also motivated me. I understand how important the Boston Marathon is at BC and I am honored to represent BC as I run. Finally, my local community motivates me, which is why I am fundraising for the South Shore YMCA. My marathon fundraising efforts will help local children and families in the community through scholarships and financial assistance. Running the Boston Marathon this year will be a great honor and I am thankful to have all this inspiration.
Nan, Dover My sister, Melissa Shearer, and I are running our first marathon as part of the Michael's Miracle Marathon Team. The Michael Lisnow Respite Center (http://www.hopkintonrespite.com/) is a home away from home for children and adults with disabilities, including my sister in law Annie P! As Boston residents, my sister and I are passionate about running the 2014 Boston Marathon in the wake of last year's events. As women born and raised near Hopkinton, we are passionate about the work of the Respite Center. My donation page: http://www.razoo.com/story/Nan-Patriquin PHOTO: My sister and I meet at the Dorchester Planet Fitness at 6am every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning for weekday treadmill training in this harsh winter. After we finish, she goes off to teach in Dorchester and I am off to grad school class or internship.
Eden, Boston All of my life I have been a runner and the Boston Marathon has always been the prize. I not fast enough to qualify for a bib therefore struggled to find a way to participate in the race. After moving to Boston less than a year ago the dream became more of a reality. My first five months in Boston were some of the hardest months of my life. I arrived from Atlanta one week prior to Sandy and spent the first week filling my bathtub with water and frantically unpacking boxes in search of a flashlight. Following a long winter of very cold long runs (I never knew they made fleece lined running tights but now understand how important they are) Nemo happened. I had no idea how to commute and run in snow that deep! I couldn't wait until spring and a chance to run outdoors safely again. When the Boston Marathon bombing happened I was working for MGH’s anesthesia department and was witness to the front lines as information and then victims f lowed into the hospital. Assisting my colleagues and staff in the aftermath and seeing their dedication and commitment was awe-inspiring! In that moment I felt for the first time like a Bostonian, I finally belonged and had a role in this city and I knew I wanted to be a part of the triumph of Boston. Running the 2014 Boston Marathon means more than it ever has and I am proud to participate and raise money for MGH. I am so honored to run for the wonderful and selfless staff I have the pleasure of working with every day. I hope to run for all of the victims that cannot, and for all of those that can in the future.
Katie, Lunenburg My story is one of hope and is a message from above that there were bigger and better things working in me and my families favor on 4/15/13, as I was unable to complete the 2013 Boston Marathon only 2 minutes shy of the finish line. It is why I run on and will never stop! Like the other 2013 Boston Marathon runners who did not get to cross the finish line last yr, I’ve been invited back to finally reach my lifelong goal and complete the 2014 Marathon, BUT for me the 2014 marathon will be quite different from the other runners returning to Boston. I will be completing a different kind of marathon on 4/21/2014, which is my due date to give birth to our 2nd son. 2013 was my very 1st Boston Marathon experience. It has been my lifelong goal to cross that finish, and my goal was cut short due to the terrible tragedies of that day. I was 2 minutes away when the bombs went off leaving my husband, 3yr old son, and family stuck in the middle of the 2 bombs on the same side of the road waiting to cheer me on. What should have ended as a happy day ended as one of the worst days of my life, almost losing my husband and son as they were right in the chaos. After that day I had no doubt in my mind I would go back in 2014 to cross the finish line until we got a surprise of a lifetime a pregnancy with the exact due date of the marathon! I feel this precious gift we are about to receive is my medal this year, and a sign of hope. I will be back in 2015 to cross that finish line!
Roy, Randolph I am running the Boston Marathon this year for the first time. I am running as part of the Dana Farber Team in honor of my Dad (also named Roy Conrad) who is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed this past summer and his fight has been an inspiration to all that know him. I will use his inspiration as my motivation to complete 26.2 miles April 21. Being that my Dad is a lifelong resident of Randolph, I organized an event to help with my fundraising. The appropriately named, A Night for Roy's Fight, will take place April 4th. The over 300 ticket event completely sold out in a matter of days. I Am truly looking forward to honoring my Dad by taking to the famed Boston Marathon route this April, while raising money for Dana-Farber. My hope is that by doing this, eventually there will come a day that families will not have to experience the pain of cancer.
Liam, Quincy Our Friend Katie O Halloran was born in Ireland in 1991 with no arms and a deformed leg. Katie first walked at the age of 8 with the help of a prosthetic leg. Katie is the oldest of 6 children. She has overcome many obstacles in her life and is currently doing her masters in law at the National University of Ireland. A huge achievement for somebody without arms. There is a massive fund raising effort taking place on both sides of the Atlantic to help Katie raise $400k to purchase bionic prosthetic arms. Her friends and family here in Boston are organizing a benefit night in the IBEW hall, Dorchester on April 19. Katie neighbor Michael is running the Boston marathon in aid of Katie. In April 2014 Michael Cloherty is taking on a Triple marathon Challenge by running 3 Marathons in 3 Countries in 3 weeks (Connemara, London, Boston). The finish line of the Boston marathon will see Michael complete the triple and Katie is making the trip from Ireland to be there to cheer Michael across the famous line. We are very proud to be able to help Katie here in Boston to shorten the road to her journey of receiving her new arms that will change her life forever.
Jessica, Andover I was born three months premature and suffered lower extremity and back issues throughout my childhood. Even though I beat the odds and survived being born premature, my doctors never thought I would never walk, yet alone run. In high school, I got involved in track and field as a sprinter. My personal dedication to overcoming obstacles that could be an adversity is the driving force behind my perseverance to do what others felt was impossible. In 2011, I ran in my first long distance race, the Feaster Five 5 Mile Road Race in my hometown. At the time, it was an accomplishment for me just finishing the race. Since that time I have run in two 5 mile races, two 10K races, and four half marathons in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Growing up, I never thought of running in the Boston Marathon. It never crossed my mind since I always ran such short distances. This year, I am running the Boston Marathon as a charity runner for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge. This will be my first marathon. I am privileged to have a patient partner, Kiera, a 5-year old girl who has been battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia since 2012. She courageously battles the infections that set her back from her chemo treatments. My personal obstacles pale in comparison to those facing a cancer patient but we have something in common – that we both want to beat the odds and achieve a substantial goal. I am running the Boston Marathon to help the future needs of others by providing researchers with precious dollars to make cancer something no one will ever die from again by helping put an end to cancer!
Bonnie, Rye, NH I was stopped at mile 25.1 last year. The last 1.1 miles is still haunting me. On April 21, 2014 I WILL complete my first marathon! Joining me this year is my husband, Bob, who was directly across from the first explosion. We are both running as members of the Mass General pediatric oncology marathon team. Running Boston for MGH enables me to give back to MGH where my brother received his care before losing his courageous battle to cancer at the age of 18. Running Boston for MGH enables Bob to thank MGH where he received his care for cancer and gives Bob the opportunity to replace the bad memories from last year’s marathon with happier ones. Running Boston for MGH, reaffirms our belief that we can bridge the gap between the hope and reality of finding a cure for cancer. Running the Boston marathon reaffirms that good always prevails.
Becca, Belmont It's an honor for me to run the Boston Marathon every year. I started running when I was 6 years old with my father Fred Pizzi (who is my true inspiration, he thinks I am crazy but he still supports me). The photo is of myself and my daughter Taylor (ironically also six) who just ran her first race, I'm SO proud of her! My goal is to run a marathon in every state, I just completed my 36th marathon, 14 of them being the Boston Marathon. I love traveling to different states and touring different cities, and meeting new people. The Boston Marathon has always been so special to me. Last year was tragic, and something I will never understand. It hit real close to home, six miles to be exact. We will not let the senseless act slow us down. We will run harder and cheer louder. Watching our community come together and prevail has been my inspiration to get to Boylston street in April. The entire country will be cheering us on, and I will do my part to prove that our city will not be defined by fear. I have no fear about the Boston Marathon, I feel very secure with my city behind me, supporting me. I will run extra hard to honor those who fell last April. I feel proud, fortunate and lucky to be a part of the Boston 2014 marathon. Thank you to the BAA who has done everything right. Thank you to my parents (Fred and Sue Pizzi) my siblings Mike, Kristin (also running Boston 2014) and Lauren. Thank you Joe, you are my rock. To my daughter, my number one fan, Taylor, you are simply the BEST. I am incredibly lucky to have my friends and family's support and encouragement.
Debra, Taunton I ran the marathon in 1984 and the experience was something I will never forget. It has been on my "bucket list" to do again since I turned 50 but I did not put a huge amount of emphasis on my training until the tragic events of last year. I knew that 2014 was going to be my year to complete this event again and I began to focus on how I could do this. I knew that I was too late to qualify due to my lack of focused training towards the marathon so I began to search for a charity that would most benefit from my efforts. I will proudly be running the marathon this year for Team Eye and Ear and it gives me great satisfaction to know that they were at the forefront of helping over 75 runners affected by last years bombings. I will also be raising money to benefit my grandson who has a cochlear hearing deficiency. Thanks to the generosity of my Macys co-workers, Philips Co-Workers and friends and family I have raised to date over $6500.00. Macys corporate has also matched every dollar I contribute which has helped me to come very close to my goal. Training this winter has been difficult, cold early morning single digit runs, snow, ice and sand on the sidewalks but due to my running club, Colonial Road runners I have partnered with the team to get all our training done. I look forward to running the Boston Marathon 2014 and will run proudly for Team Eye and Ear. Thanks for letting me share my story, see you at the starting line!
Jessica, Boston Boston is not a city. It's a living, breathing, being. Boston's eyes have seen challenge, voice has roared with spirit, ears have heard screams of despair, & legs have tread the cobble-stoned streets of our history. But, most importantly, Boston's hands have held mine & never let go. On April 14th, 2013 I was feeling the same feeling I felt for 3 years on the eve of Marathon Monday- disappointed. An avid runner since I was 17, I found myself losing confidence as I sank into the grip of a bad relationship. Running took a back seat. On the heels of recovering from this relationship, I made a promise to myself to run 2014 to symbolize my joy for having running back in my life. On April 15th, 2013- Boston got knocked down. Anger simmered until it boiled over & ran through my veins as I tried to find my purpose in helping. So, I strapped my shoes on & started running. With running, I found the nourishment & connection that allowed me to process the events in a positive light. Then I started searching for charities to run in the 2014 Marathon. I got accepted to run for the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation for the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards. This charity gives those who embody volunteerism the credit they never seek out to get, but deserve to be recognized for. I am proud that every dollar I raise will be donated to the things these folks are so passionate for and knowing I am even part of the process is truly humbling. Participating in 2014 isn't just a desire for me-it's a need.This race is the blood in my veins, and Boston is the beating of my heart. I can't wait to take back our finish line.
Tricia, Woburn My marathon began two years ago, with the goal of running the 2014 Boston Marathon for the Samaritans organization in support of their suicide prevention services and awareness program. As a fundraiser, my sister and I decided to create an autograph quilt featuring signatures of famous Boston marathon runners, sports stars, and noteworthy celebrities. We created mailing kits, containing fabric squares and return envelopes, to send to possible contributors and attended charity events to collect autographs. After 2013, we knew that the signatures must include those touched by the marathon bombings and extended the list of candidates. In all, we collected 182 signatures. The signed autograph squares were used to frame large applique blocks depicting Boston landmarks in my sister’s original quilt design. People who see the quilt often ask, “Do you have Brady, Belichick, Bird, Orr, Papi or Chara?” We are so fortunate to be able to say YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, and YES! For us, however, the real message of the quilt is in the title, Boston Strong. In a small but significant way, the generosity and support of the signers who returned those kits represents the strength of our community. Boston is strong because people come together to help one another. We are offering this Boston Strong quilt in an Opportunity Drawing to benefit the Samaritans. For each $5 donation, participants receive one ticket in the drawing; for a $20 donation, five tickets! We are grateful for every donation. For more information, and a complete list of signatures, visit our donation page. http://www.crowdrise.com/Samaritans2014BostonMarathon/fundraiser/TriciaPierson
Erin, Tewksbury I was deeply impacted by last years tragic events. I never thought I could run a marathon, but watching how strong everyone was coping with their losses and recouperating after such horror - I was truly touched and motivated. "If they can come back from that, why can't I run a marathon?" and "If they can't run, I want to run for them!" Then I began looking into different organizations that I would like to run with. I wanted to choose an organization whose mission was reflective of something I believed in and that meant something to me personally. I came across Tedy's Team as one of my first options for me since I have a cousin who ran with them previously and always sang the organizations praises. Heart disease actually runs in my family and I have many family members and friends that have suffered from stroke. Therefore, I feel truly blessed to run for Tedy Bruschi's Team and help raise money for the American Stroke Assosciation. To run the 188th Boston Marathon with Tedy's Team, I need to raise $10,000 to help them further stroke research. I am working on some great events and have wonderful raffle items, such as many items signed by Tedy Bruschi. http://tedysteam2014.kintera.org/erinphelan
Whitney, Concord I am incredibly honored to be running the Boston Marathon on the Samaritans charity team in memory of my good friend Katie Craig. Katie loved running almost as much as she loved skiing, so I can’t think of a better way to honor her and raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention than by running to raise money for the life-saving services provided by Samaritans. During her short life, Katie’s warmth, excitement, and brilliant smile were an inspiration to everyone she met. In the years since Katie’s struggle with bipolar disorder and her suicide in 2007, I have tried to channel that inspiration into my daily life. Katie ran the Boston Marathon herself in 2006, and I know she will be with me this April, pulling me across the finish line. Katie’s favorite quote, from a Mary Oliver poem, asks: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” We all have our own answers, but the important thing is to keep asking ourselves that question. One thing I plan to do with my wild and precious life is run 26.2 miles for suicide prevention, and I am honored to have so many amazing people supporting me on that journey.
Carrie, Somerville I am running the 118th Boston Marathon in memory of my only brother Nathaniel who I lost to suicide in April of 2011. I have received my number through Samaritans, a local suicide prevention organization, who I connected with through their Grief Support Services. I grew up in Cheyney, PA and currently reside in Somerville with my python, Kahlua. I recently moved to Somerville after my apartment in Cambridge was involved in a fire that began in a neighboring building. I moved to Boston in June of 2012 to pursue neuroscience research, and I am currently a research technician at an MGH lab that studies the genetics and functional biology of Alzheimer’s disease. In my free time, I enjoy playing old video games, baking goodies for my coworkers and roommates, painting birds, and running around the beautiful city of Boston. This will be my first marathon. I am incredibly excited to be running the 2014 Boston Marathon, both in memory of my brother Nathaniel and to raise money for Samaritans. Nathaniel took his life on April 15th, 2011 after a 13-year struggle with severe Body Dysmorphic Disorder, an OCD-spectrum disorder that is characterized by intense preoccupation with a perceived defect in one's physical appearance. Despite the fact that he sought the best treatment available, his illness slowly robbed him of the freedom and life opportunities that we all take for granted. Each day was a testament to his strength of spirit. He quietly shouldered his burden with incredible endurance. A brilliant student and gifted teacher, he greatly touched the lives of those around him with his humor, wisdom, and unfailing loyalty. He was my closest companion, and the foundation of my personality was built upon our relationship. I miss him constantly. For updates on my training and fundraising progress: http://carriesbostonmarathon.blogspot.com
Helene, Arlington I am running the 118th Boston Marathon in memory of Shaira Ali and in support of Arlington youth. I am returning to run the distance for suicide prevention after I was unable to finish last year due to the Boston Marathon bombings. I am honored to use my running to raise awareness of adolescent mental health issues and to support Samaritans, Inc. a local suicide prevention organization. When friends lost a daughter to suicide on Marathon Monday, 2012, I wanted to do something to support them. Ensuring the vital services Samaritans provide remain available for all in need, especially youth, seemed a fitting tribute by which to remember Shaira. This year I am hoping for a strong Marathon run, good running and cheering weather, and an exuberant, uneventful finish in Copley Square. This is my second Boston, and my fifth marathon, in addition to several half marathons, shorter races, and two triathlons. http://www.crowdrise.com/Samaritans2014BostonMarathon/fundraiser/helenenewberg
Meg, Medford This year's race is certain to be a memorable experience, for all the runners, their charities, and the city of Boston. While the events that took place during last year's race were absolutely tragic, I am excited to have another opportunity to cross the finish line on Boylston Street and to fundraise again for Bay Cove. Bay Cove is a human services agency that provides personalized services and individualized care to people facing the challenges of mental health, developmental disabilities, drug and alcohol addiction, and healthy aging. The weeks and months I've spent training have been physically and mentally exhausting, but it will all culminate on April 21st. However, many of the people Bay Cove serves face lifelong challenges. Whether it be physical disabilities that rely on the help of someone else to perform daily tasks like taking a shower, or the constant conscious mental struggle to choose sobriety and resist temptation to take drugs, many of Bay Cove's clients do not have a "finish line" in sight. They put in the physical, mental, and emotional work, but there is no one there to put a medal around their necks or, in most cases, no finish line waiting for them. The challenges they are facing are often situations that last for their entire lives - for them, the race never ends.
Raquel, Northborough Last year I ran Boston 2013 for the very first time for charity, after raising thousands of dollars and got stopped at mile 25.86. It was a lifetime goal, as I always wanted to follow my fathers footsteps. I had no idea what was going on until sometime told me what had just occured, knowing that my husband was with my parents at the finish line. I never got to finish due to battling an injury. I was devastated not only for not finishing, but what had happened. I have thought about that day, everyday, since then. With 31 days remaining, I know going into this that I have put in the hard work these dreadful past winter months. I am more excited than ever to be able to cross that finish line this year for redemption and that is why I am running the 2014 Boston Marathon. To turn right on Hereford and left on Boylston. To hear the rip roaring crowds that final mile, cheer me and all of the other strong runners on! I love this city. I love this marathon.
Allison, Brockton My marathon story started when my mom went into early labor with me while watching my Dad run the marathon in 1992, luckily the doctors were able to stop it and I was born closer to my due date. It's been a part of my family for decades. My Dad has run 9 Boston marathons and countless marathons in order to qualify for Boston and my mom has volunteered as a nurse for the medical staff at the marathon. In 1995 my Dad decide to run for a cause, this being the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He had the opportunity to run for current patients and befriend their families. He was then approached in 1996 to coach for the society and he coached runner and took them to the Anchorage marathon and London marathon until 1999. This was an amazing experience to have as a child and I am thankful for it. In 2003 my cousin was diagnosed with Berckett's Lymphoma. Thankfully after 9 months of treatments he was in remission. However in 2011 leukemia hit my family again. My Uncle Joe was diagnosed with AML, a form of Leukemia. He was a Newton native, active runner and even ran a few marathons of his own. Despite his positive outlook he lost his battle to leukemia in October 2012. I'm honored to say that I will be running the 2014 Boston Marathon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of my cousin Dennis and in memory of my Uncle Joe.
Lauren, Westford This April, I will be running the Boston Marathon to support, Nashoba Learning Group, the amazing school I work for. Nashoba Learning Group helps children and adolescents with autism achieve their potential each and every day. Our mission is to enable children and adults with autism to function with the greatest possible productivity and independence in the community, home, and workplace throughout their lives. NLG was founded in 2002 to offer a different life trajectory for more seriously impaired students with Autism and their families. Today NLG provides outstanding, individualized education, training and intervention services for 90 students aged 3 to 22 with autism spectrum disorders so that they can achieve their potential and become productive members of society throughout their lives Please help me on my journey to raise $7,500 for this wonderful organization and all of the amazing students I work with! Every mile I will run from now until April 21, 2014 will be in honor of our students and all their hard work!!
Kelley, Westwood I love that I am a participant of the 2014 Boston Marathon. I ran last year, and my friend, Erin, and I were unfortunately stopped at 25.9. I am a student at UMass Amherst in the College of Nursing. Training was and still is my stress relief, but finding time to run during the week was difficult due to my difficult schedule of classes. We would run either at 6 in the morning or sometimes, even 8 at night. However, running has become such a passion of mine. Sundays were no longer a day of rest, but the best day of the week- we call it "Long Run Sunday" After miles and hours of training me and my friend put in last year, it was difficult to realize that we didn't hit the finish. However, lucky for us, our family and friends at the finish line were safe, including my grandparents in the grandstands. Though we are all still shaken by the events, we've earned our second chance at finishing this year. I know I will have a smile on my face from 1 Ash Street all the way down Boylston and for the months that follow. I am not just running for myself, but I am running for all of those affected by last year's events. Here's to a run to remember!
Kim, Franklin I am running the 118th Boston Marathon in memory of my sister, Jodi Ann Sims, who died by suicide in 2006 and on behalf of Samaritans, a suicide prevention organization. I’ve had the honor to serve on Samaritans Board of Directors for a number of years. I am returning to run the distance for suicide prevention again after I was unable to finish due to the Boston Marathon bombings last year. I have run 14 marathons and this will be my 6th consecutive Boston Marathon on behalf of Samaritans. I am passionate about increasing suicide prevention awareness. My family and I have formed Jodi Ann's Team at Samaritans 5K for seven straight years. Shortly after turning 40, I set a goal to run 40 marathons in my 40’s. So how exciting was it for me to learn that Samaritans would be celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2014, the same year that my sister would have celebrated her 40th birthday. On April 15, 2013, instead of preparing tax returns for those last minute clients with my coworkers, I laced up my sneakers at the start of the Boston Marathon and began to make my journey from Hopkinton to Boston, as I had done every Patriot’s Day since 2009. Knowing I was less than a half mile away, my four children waited for me at mile 26.2. But I didn’t see the finish line that day. On April 21st, 2014 I will lace up those sneakers (once again) and run my 6th consecutive Boston Marathon on “Team Samaritans” in memory of my sister and in honor of all those fighting their battle with mental illness. I am a CPA and Partner at Leone, Morrissey, Henriksen & Synan and live in Franklin with my four children. For more information please go to: http://www.crowdrise.com/Samaritans2014BostonMarathon/fundraiser/kimgagnon
Vincenzo, Medford There are two main pieces in my quest to run the Boston Marathon. The first piece took place about five or six years ago. Being born and raised in the Boston area, the Boston Marathon has always been one of the biggest events that took place every year. And I wanted to be a part of that. So, I told myself that I was going to run the Boston Marathon before I turned 30. I had/have never run a marathon before, and I want Boston to be my first one. At the time, I was in my mid-twenties, and essentially made the statement, but did nothing about it. I turn 30 this October, which makes 2014 my last chance to accomplish this goal. The second piece happened during last year's marathon. We all know what happened. But to me, what's more important is how I/we respond. I knew right away that, not only was I going to do it, I had to do it. For people that know me, they know how much I love Boston. I've often been told that when people think of Boston, they think of me. And that makes me so happy. I love everything about this city. I love the history, the people, the sports, the accent, the crazy "organization" of the streets - everything. I have an enormous amount of pride in being from Boston. To me, running the 2014 Boston Marathon was an obvious way to show this. April 21st is going to be an amazing day on so many levels. I get chills just thinking about it. Knowing that I am going to be a part of the biggest and most meaningful Boston Marathon ever is an incredible feeling. I absolutely cannot wait. More of story can be read at vincerunsboston.com
Pat, Holliston Once a teammate, always a teammate – that is why I am running Boston again. During last year’s fateful Boston Marathon I trained and raised funds and awareness for my rowing teammate of 25 years ago, Carolyn. Carolyn is battling ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Twenty five years ago we were competing in rowing regattas across the country. Last year at this time, due to the effects of ALS, Carolyn was walking using a walker, having some difficulties producing intelligible speech, and taking care of that occasional “itch” or stray hair that we all have. Now, a year later, ALS leaves Carolyn using a power wheelchair for mobility and using an eye gaze device for communication. Carolyn marvels at our ability to itch that itch or remove that stray hair, something she can no longer do. However, Carolyn and I are not going to let this opponent go without a good fight. Although we live hundreds of miles apart, together we are raising funds and awareness for ALS TDI, a Cambridge, MA biotech firm devoted to finding a cure for AL S. Please visit our web site to learn more about the exciting research happening at ALS TDI as well donate to our cause. Please take this opportunity to itch that itch or remove that stray hair you have! http://community.als.net/runforcarolyn
Andrew, North Reading I ran the marathon last year. We were stopped and cell phone service was shut down and we didn't know why. When we found out, I was so frightened as my family, including my wife and young children, had smiled at me at Mile 14 and then went to the finish line to wait for me. Very scary times. When we all knew that we were okay, we were so grateful that I committed to running again this year, to show how thankful we are, to not let terrorists feel they have the upper hand and to support the non-profit foundation: Hope and Friendship Metastatic (Stage IV) Breast Cancer Foundation. I am dedicated to the 2014 Boston Marathon and all it stands for. Donations can be made, "In Honor of Andy" at: hopeandfriendship.org.
Brian, Victor, NY This is my third year in a row running for The Greater Boston Food Bank. 2012 was a heat wave. 2013 I was on Boylston when the terrorists struck having completed the race about 25 minutes earlier and it will remain a day that the world will never forget. For 2014, I am looking forward to hearing the roars from the crowd for 26.2 miles. It is going to be a special year for the runners and spectators to prove what "Boston Strong" really means. My wife and kids have been active with volunteering with our local food cupboard in Victor, NY. Their experiences have opened my eyes to the enormity of our nation's hunger crisis and I am honored to be one of three runners this year running for The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), which is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. Last year, they distributed almost 46 million pounds of food, enough to provide healthy meals to as many as 545,000 people. We are committed to increasing our food distribution in 2013 to provide at least ONE MEAL A DAY to every person in need in eastern Massachusetts. I have tasted what it feels like to cross the finish line of endurance sports. Words don't capture the physical and emotional rush that comes with such a moment. And when you pour on top the environment of an iconic event like Boston and running for such an important cause, it's just impossible to reproduce anywhere else in life. Boston Strong! http://www.crowdrise.com/GBFB2014BostonMarathon/fundraiser/brianreh
Brian, West Roxbury Born, raised, and living in West Roxbury, the same house that 5 generations have lived, I attended Boston Latin School, Bentley University and married my high school sweetheart. As a little guy, I remember watching in awe each April as the Marathon runners braved the long mileage, yet never felt that I had the courage to join their ranks. The events of last year changed my perspective. I was surrounded by a family that were among the first responders directly involved in the events of that day and challenging days that followed. My father-in-law is the Chief of the Boston Fire Department and was in charge of the finish line when the explosions occurred. My brother, a nurse at BMC, cared for many of the victims. The strength and resolve that they showed during that time has fueled me in my training over the past few months. They and the countless people involved put things in perspective regarding how lucky I am to be able to run. I can’t repay anyone for what they did to help that day but I have committed to raise $5,000 for the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), as a way to show the sense community we all felt one year ago. I am honored to be one of three runners this year running for GBFB, which is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. One in nine residents in eastern Massachusetts is food insecure. With regards to children, that number is as many as one in four. Being a dad to two beautiful red headed girls, one of which was born in the hours following the Marathon, it scares me to think of them ever having to feel true hunger. Boston Strong! http://www.crowdrise.com/GBFB2014BostonMarathon/fundraiser/briandanz
Patrick, Newton Since moving to Boston in 1998, I had always watched the Marathon close to the finish line at the corner of Boylston and Fairfield. I was drawn to the charity runners who were finishing around 5 hours and over – the grit and determination on each of their faces was awe inspiring. Two years ago it was my turn to get off the sidelines and experience ‘Right on Hereford, left on Boylston’. As I ran past Fairfield on that blistering 88 degree day, I looked to the spot where I once stood and realized that anything in life is possible. Charity runners are the heart and soul of the marathon. They are the folks who log countless early morning miles all winter through every kind of weather. They depend on your cheers along the entire route, and somehow convince themselves that running 26.2 miles is an awesome experience. Friendships are made, bonds are formed and character is shaped. They know that the Marathon is not about them, but about the worthy cause they are helping to support. Many charity runners, including myself, were not able to cross the finish line last April. After the tragic events of that day, I immediately made a promise with my two good and faithful running friends to return to the course in 2014, and do it all over again. That day is fast approaching…and a promise is a promise.
Henry, Fitchburg Last year, I sat gravely concerned for close friends who were running and watching the marathon. Thankfully they were okay. I watched closely how their lives had been affected by the bombings. I had major neck surgery and I was told I could not train for a marathon until May of 2014. At my next follow-up appointment with my surgeon, I told him I was going to run Boston in 2014. After some discussion, he tentatively agreed. My wife has NF, so I applied to run for Team NF and was accepted. My surgeon eventually gave me full medical clearance and even donated to my fundraising. I will not let the actions of a few cowards ruin or damper the sport I love, nor the spectacle that is the Boston marathon. I worked hard to get myself ready to start marathon training both physically and emotionally. I overcame a setback, a broken foot, and with the help of family and friends remained positive and healed completely. Through Team NF, I have met some wonderful parents who are dealing with children that have NF, and my goal is to not only finish the Boston Marathon stronger than ever, but to raise as much money as I can for Team NF. Thank you http://www.crowdrise.com/NFINCNE2014BostonMarathon/fundraiser/henrystjohn
Timothy, Methuen My name is Tim Sullivan. I'm a Haverhill Firefighter and a veteran. After the Boston Marathon Bombings, I designed a 'Haverhill Fire Boston Strong' shirt to raise money for the Boston First Responder Fund and train to run the Boston Marathon....my first ever marathon. This project all came about to show my 3 young boys that good people, like their Dad, win over bad people. That, and the desire to defy the hate that shut down an entire city. When I started training in July of 2013, I started at 3 miles per run. To date, my longest run so far is more than 20 miles. We have also managed to raise over $4000 so far from the proceeds of the shirts. I have not been able to get a registered number and, without it, I don't think they are going to allow unregistered individuals to get into the race. I have, therefore, become a registered volunteer for the Marathon...and I signed up for the Earth Rock Run Marathon if I don't get a number for the Boston Marathon. This entire project has sincerely been inspirational.
I will be running the 2014 Boston Marathon on behalf of The Children’s Room (TCR) of Arlington, MA. I started as a volunteer at TCR in 2011 to fulfill a lifelong dream of working with kids. At the time I just wanted to get some experience; I had no idea how incredibly influential the experience would truly turn out to be and the many ways my life would be affected. TCR is a bereavement center that provides comfort and support to grieving children, teens and families who have experienced the loss of a loved one. The children and families that I have met and worked with at TCR have allowed me to observe first-hand just how difficult the grieving process can be, but more importantly how powerful a loving, supportive environment is during such difficult times. I have had the opportunity to witness time and time again how the guidance of TCR has given families the strength and confidence they need to be able to heal and continue moving forward with their lives. In fact, working with these incredible children and families has been so influential for me that I have decided to earn my graduate degree in Expressive Therapies and Mental Health Counseling so that I can do this work full time. I started my graduate program at Lesley University this fall and the experience has been nothing short of insightful, powerful and rewarding. As I start this new journey in my life towards a career in Expressive Therapy with hopes to continue helping children and families just like those of TCR I can’t think of any other way to express my gratitude than to run with The Children’s Room Miles and Memories Marathon Team of 2014.
Tracy, Derry NH This will be my third consecutive Boston Marathon with Team JDRF. I run for my nephew Patrick. Pat is a freshman in high school and is living with Type 1 diabetes. Several times a day he has to prick his fingers to check his glucose levels and then inject insulin through a pump he wears. He is the most active teenager I know playing football, basketball, baseball, and snowboarding. Type 1 doesn't slow him down, but the worry never ends for my sister. Last year my brother joined me for the marathon, but neither of us were able to finish. We are back to cross the finish line and raise more money for JDRF. My daughter will be joining my brother and me this year, running her first marathon. Jessica was suppose to watch me run last year, but her husband's deployment to Afghanistan was changed so she was not able to fly into town. She dropped him at Ft. Campbell on Sunday night. 1st LT. Nicholas Bamberg left in the early morning of April 15, 2013 for a 9 month deployment. It was already a very emotional day for my family. We were worried about my son-in-law heading into a war zone and our daughter living alone in TN. Never did we ever imagine we would be in danger running a race. Running helped my daughter to be strong during Nick's deployment so it became a goal for her to join our team. The attached picture is Jessica and I before our 22 mile run and after. She flew home just to run with Team JDRF on the course. I am so proud of Jessica and Nick. It will be an amazing experience running the Boston Marathon with my daughter.
Caroline, Cambridge I met Kay Foley in 2009. I was a brand new freshman on the Harvard Swim team and she was the team captain. Despite the age gap, we became fast friends and stayed close even after Kay graduated. Ex-college athletes can only go so long without training goals, and post graduation Kay immediately took up marathons. She ran her first Boston in 2011 and I dutifully skipped class to cheer her on. When she passed by with a huge smile on her face, I immediately knew I would be joining her on the road once my swimming career was over. In 2013 I fundraised for a bib and though I only had 4 weeks to train after our swimming championships were over, I took solace I knowing that Kay would be running with me. As we were turning right on Hereford Street we heard the two explosions. Amidst the confusion we managed to find my parents, but Kay’s fiancé, my boyfriend, and two other family members had been waiting at the finish line for us. We walked an interminable 3 miles back to Cambridge and thankfully learned all of our loved ones were safe. It was a harrowing experience, but having Kay there made it manageable. We were ecstatic to learn we would have the opportunity to run in 2014. For the past 6 months we have completed every Saturday long run together – logging over 200 miles on the course. We refer to them as therapy sessions rather than runs and they have become the highlight of my week. Harvard swimming brought us together, but Boston training has kept us together. I’ve waited a year to finish my first marathon, but crossing the finish line hand in hand with Kay will be one of my most meaningful accomplishments.
Jonathan, Somerville After qualifying for my first Boston Marathon last fall, I will be running this year for my Mom, Annette Korhonen. Annette is currently battling the effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) suffered back in August 2013. Mom, at 58 years of age, fell down the stairs at our house after having an ischemic stroke, despite an impressive ‘bill of health’ received just a month prior. Mom has been my biggest fan for my entire life, and has been to nearly every of the hundreds of races I have competed in over my 20 year running career. I ran for Mom last fall to qualify, and will be running again for her and with her (literally), thanks to a specially designed racing shirt by my wife (shown in the attached picture). After several brain surgeries and time in various hospitals and rehab centers, Mom continues to have a LONG road ahead. While we have been fortunate with insurance coverage to date, there will soon be expensive costs for Mom to continue her progress. While I have prayed for Mom’s ability to recover, I also pray that the expense of care won’t prohibit us from giving Mom the chance to get better. I have also teamed up with the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts, in hopes of also helping other TBI patients here in our state. I welcome you to join in on our fundraiser for my Mom and BIA-MA at www.youcaring.com/korhonen. With every tragedy, comes the opportunity to appreciate the love and support that surrounds us all. Despite the challenges of this unfortunate event, I feel blessed for the support around me and the opportunity to compete in Boston this year. Thank you for taking the time to read my story, and thank you in advance for your support.
Kenny, Topsfield Last year I ran the Boston Marathon and finished just minutes before the tragic bombings on Boylston Street. It was my first marathon and after finishing I struggled to feel any sense of pride because of what happened. It was the greatest physical and athletic accomplishment of my life but instead of celebrating it, I felt empty. In addition, I was volunteering in the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Emergency Department at the time and saw the aftermath of those terrible attacks. However, the compassionate and resilient care given to victims by employees in the emergency department at BIDMC gave me the inspiration to feel Boston Strong. As a BIDMC employee now, it is my responsibility to run this marathon again in honor of all those affected by last year’s events and to support Boston. Last year, I ran for the Boston College Campus School as a BC senior. This year I will be running for BIDMC and supporting many charities which include support for victims and caregivers involved in last years attack. I currently work at BIDMC as an arrhythmia technician and reside in Brookline. It has been an incredibly difficult year for training with the awful weather this winter but I know in the end that many people endured much worse hardship a year ago. I keep pushing to run for them. This year will be unlike any other and I cannot wait for the gun to go off on April 21st.
Rob, Sharon April 15, 2013 is a day most Bostonians, and perhaps many around the world, will not easily forget. The day of the Boston Marathon is usually a fantastic day in and around town. The Red Sox play early in the day, schools and many offices are closed, and everyone has a favorite place to camp out and watch the runners. On this day, however, a great Boston tradition was marred by horrific and tragic events. Like many others, I knew I had to find a way to run the race in 2014. I knew I had to help prove that the cowardly acts of a few can't break the spirit of this amazing event. Unfortunately, I also knew there was no way I'd ever make the 3 hour and 20 minute qualifying time, so I needed a little help. I have a good friend who regularly volunteers at The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) and I had been looking for a way to get involved and make a difference. There are so many deserving causes and organizations but I felt that GBFB was a place that my fundraising could have the most immediate impact. I am so lucky to say my family and I have never experienced hunger and I truly wish we lived in a world without hunger. For me, this 2014 Boston Marathon is about standing strong and representing people that may not be able to stand for themselves. Whether that is a family struggling with hunger or someone impacted by the horrific events of the 2013 race.
Sarah, Weymouth I graduated from the Boston Architectural College in May of 2012. The BAC is located on the corner of Hereford & Newbury in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay - more to the point, right along the marathon course. Since 2005, I looked on from my studio windows designing and drafting, while intermittently running outside my school to cheer on the thousands of runners on Patriots Day. I have had hopes of running the Boston Marathon for a number of years; and in 2013 was waitlisted for a local charity. Last April I had the opportunity to sit in the bleachers at the finish line with my father; when the clock hit 4:05, my mother ran over the finish line. We were elated; she not only finished the race, she received a qualifying time! This elation evaporated less than 5 minutes later when the first bomb went off on Boylston Street. It is difficult to explain how that day changed me. The chaos of the immediate hours & the longest 27 minutes ever experienced trying to find my mother will always be a part of me. I faced a mix of emotions regarding the long weeks that followed that day. However, I try to focus on pride. Pride for my city that stayed strong, for the visitors who said they would return to the city I love, for the service men & women who work to keep Boston safe every day, & for the good Samaritans who ran into the smoke when I could not. I have decided to run the 2014 Boston Marathon because I cannot allow two people’s poor decisions dictate the amazing freedom I have running. This year I will be running in Memory of Joanne Luppi for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with Team in Training!
Lisa, Sherborn I feel so privileged to be running this year's Boston Marathon as part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge Team. This is my fifth marathon--my first was my gift to myself for my 40th birthday--7ish years ago. Each race has gotten slower (spoiler alert: I'm not going to win). I am a mom, a wife, a career fundraiser, a yoga instructor at HYP (Hot Yoga/Pilates in Needham, Wellesley, and Medfield--note, I am not yet profiled on their site, but teach classes on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday), and a runner. 12 years ago, I had the honor of working for Dana-Farber in their Development Office. I saw firsthand the impact DFCI had on patients and families--and the far-reaching impact of the research. Today, I work for MIT's Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, where MIT's finest scientists and engineers are working to develop new diagnostic tools, better therapies, and new prevention strategies. I am running Boston for family, friends, and colleagues--children as well as adults. Ann Murray Paige (founder of Project Pink), lost her battle with metastatic breast cancer just last month. Mimi Gallagher has battled ovarian cancer, and is currently, wonderfully in remission. I am running as much for these extraordinary friends and colleagues as I am for my own three daughters (9, 10, 14) and my amazing husband, Jonathan (owner of Stone Hearth Pizza). I would love for my children to live in a world where cancer is a manageable condition, treated with a pill or injection. The training has been hard--but nothing compared to being treated for cancer. I have dedicated every step to these extraordinary people and their families.
Katie, Wallingford, CT After the events at last year’s marathon, I verbally committed to running the 118th marathon my senior year at Boston College. Almost one year later, and I am finishing up my training and getting ready to wear a bib in honor of a charity very close to my heart. I have volunteered in the Infant Toddler Program at Perkins School for the Blind for the past two years. Working with these kids has influenced me far beyond belief. When I see the hurdles that they overcome, I am inspired by not only their resilience, but also the dedication that their parents have in bringing them to group each week. I know that funding at Perkins can go a long way. Each day, I will train with Perkins on my mind and in my heart. I will not skip my runs or declare anything “too tough” because I see two year olds take their first steps despite a diagnosis that should leave them immobile. I will run because every week volunteers return to Perkins knowing that nothing that they do is a waste of their time. Every step I take will be in honor of each child that I have seen grow. I run for awareness for the visually impaired and for the continued development at Perkins for many years to come. I have fallen in love with each child I have worked with, and will keep them in mind from Hopkinton until the finish line on Boylston. The fact that I get to run by all of my friends at Mile 21 wearing a Perkins shirt is something that I only could have imagined.
Lesley, Boston When my mom passed away in 2011 from complications of diabetes, I used running to help me cope with the tremendous amount of grief I felt from losing her. I decided to use my running for a good cause and joined the Joslin Diabetes Center's marathon team in 2012. Last year, I crossed the finish line 90 seconds before the first explosion. The events and sights of last year still haunt me today. While thankful to have finished, I would give anything to erase those images from my mind. In hard times, I've always turned to running, and this was no exception. I'm running this year not only to support the Joslin Diabetes Center, but to show my pride and support for this amazing city and running community. As a Boston resident, I know Marathon Monday is one of the best days in the city, and I'm confident the events of last year have not taken that away. I'm so excited and proud to be part of this year's race and hope everyone will come out to show Boston's strength and resiliency. http://www.crowdrise.com/jdc2014bostonmarathon/fundraiser/LesleyLevitt
Justin, Millville Justin has become a close friend of mine through our involvement in the One Run For Boston this year. He is 23 years old and was born with a severe case of scoliosis. He had a complicated spinal surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital and afterwards, had to teach himself how to walk again. This was an amazing story in and of itself as Justin took each baby step to learn to walk…when he could walk he started running and he was determined to become a distance runner one day completing a marathon. This year in Boston will be his second attempt at fulfilling his dream. In 2013 Justin ran with Team Hoyt and the mobility impaired. Unfortunately, due to the bombings, he was halted at mile 24. He is determined to finish the race this year, to prove he’s Justin Strong!
Vincent, Southwick I’ll be running the 118th Boston Marathon to raise funds and awareness for seriously ill children at The Hole in the Wall Camps founded by Paul Newman. In 1998 I was diagnosed with heart disease and wasn’t permitted to run until 2009. I have run 2 New York City marathons and multiple ½ marathons since. This will be my last marathon and nothing would be greater than to help a child live a dream and go to camp. If my running 26.2 miles can give that gift to another child, then it’s worth every step! www.crowdrise.com/vincentcaruso
Oscar, North Andover U.S. Army Veteran and Democratic Candidate for State Representative to run 2014 Boston Marathon; Resolved to finish a race he began in 2013. Last year, Massachusetts National Guard veteran Sergeant First Class Oscar Camargo, who served in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, was one of hundreds of participants stopped after running over 24-miles of the Boston Marathon. Running as part of the Tufts University team, he was raising money to support research on nutrition, obesity, hunger, and famine. A year later, many things have changed for Oscar. He is running the 2014 Boston Marathon to honor the victims and first responders, including the students and faculty of Tufts University who were present at the finish line that day. Inspired by a drive to further serve his community, Oscar transferred to the U.S. Army Reserves and reenlisted for another three years. Desiring an opportunity to serve his local community, Oscar announced his candidacy for the democratic nomination for State Representative of the 14th Essex district in January of this year. "On April 21st, I will join thousands of runners—mothers, fathers, grandparents, daughters, sons, and friends—who will once again demonstrate the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. Yes, we will remember those who fell, but we will also demonstrate that our sense of community has been strengthened not weakened." Oscar Camargo is a 14-year veteran who served in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is the son of Mexican immigrants, the first in his family to earn a bachelors and masters degree. He is a resident of North Andover, Massachusetts where he is an active member of his church and local community.
Raechel, Somerset I'm running for the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, where so many of the survivors of last year's bombings have received and will continue to receive care for hearing loss. I was invited to run the NYC Marathon last fall to honor Roseann Sdoia. Although I've never met Roseann, I was very moved by her courage and honesty, and I accepted the invitation to run New York. I wanted to run Boston this year to raise funds for one of the hospitals that has provided such wonderful care to Roseann. I'll be running for Mass Eye and Ear to honor Roseann once again. She has inspired me every step of the way.