SOUTH BOSTON (CBS) – Every runner has their reason for running the Boston Marathon and every runner on Team Colin wishes they had a different reason. Kerri McGrath would give anything to be running just for fun.
“I am prepared for an emotional roller coaster,” she told WBZ-TV.
Kerri is Colin McGrath’s mother. Nine months ago, two-year-old Colin was killed near their South Boston home. Two cars had collided. One went up on the sidewalk, hitting Colin’s stroller. His four-year-old sister Sloane was badly injured, but survived.
“He was a torrent of energy all the time,” Colin’s father Brendan McGrath told us back in February. “It was infectious frankly.”
Kerri and Brendan created Colin’s Joy Project in their son’s memory.
“You realize that you need to figure out how to have a relationship with them after their life here,” Kerri said. “Colin’s Joy Project has allowed us to have that relationship with him and continue that, but also make the most of those memories that we have.”
Through Colin’s Joy Project the McGraths will be funding programs for families in need. They’ll also build new neighborhood playgrounds. To raise money they built a marathon team.
Colin’s team has 11 runners. Some are friends like Ally McDonald.
“Colin was in our lives just for a couple years and he had an oversized impact. Anyone who met Colin was like ‘Wow that kid’s a force of nature,” and so this is our way of remembering hi,” said McDonald.
Some are strangers who’ve never run before.
“I was like sign me up, what can I do?” said Jennifer Gildersleeve.
It’s clear they all run for Colin, but also for his mom and dad, who have been through a marathon of grief.
“Sometimes the running is the easiest thing I had to do that week,” Kerri said.
“I think of how they have powered through every day and if I’m sore, I’m achy or I don’t feel like doing something I just think of all that they’ve done and I just keep going,” said runner Katie Marshman.
Give them a selfie stick and go pro and they’ll actually have few laughs.
Give them a fundraising goal and they’ll crush it.
“We’re well on our way to that and I think by the end of this marathon we will have actually gotten to our goal,” Kerri said.
Their goal was to raise $600,000 over two years. They’re about to reach that after just a few months.
“It really is amazing,” Kerri told us.
So all that’s left now is to get to that finish line. Until then, Kerri can just picture what it will be like.
“It’s so loud and I’m probably crying,” she said. “I picture a lot of tears along this marathon.”
If you’d like to donate to Colin’s Joy Project, visit colinsjoyproject.org
The Boston Bruins will dedicate their 50-50 raffle in Game 2 of their first round playoff series to Team Colin. You can go here on the day of the game to enter.