Boston Who?

Confession: I don’t get the hype about Boston.

(Go ahead and amass your mad rant in the comments now. It’s cool. I’ll wait.)

But really, what’s the big deal? Is it elitist thing with qualifying? Is it the history of the race itself? Tell me, because I don’t get it.

I don't really get the hype about Boston. Then again, I'm a Jersey Girl.

I don’t really get the hype about Boston. Then again, I’m a Jersey Girl.

And before you go crazy on me, yes, I’ve been there to see it. I’ve cheered for my aunt who ran. It was…like most other marathons. Except for one thing.

Standing around near the finish, I heard a lot of things that made me sad. From more than one person, runners and cheerers alike, came the comment:

“Oh, they didn’t qualify. They’re on a charity team.”

Not once, not twice, multiple times from multiple people.

My first Marine Corps Marathon. My first time running for Team Fisher House. A very proud moment, indeed.

My first Marine Corps Marathon. My first time running for Team Fisher House. A very proud moment, indeed.

I was disappointed to hear this from runners and non-runners alike as I wandered around Boston the weekend of the marathon. Who puts down charity runners? I mean, seriously?!?! These people have no soul.

That’s when I lost any desire I had to run Boston.

 

I’ve run 6 marathons for Team Fisher House and am proud to have done so. I don’t think there’s any shame at all in running for a charity team. I would never look down on someone running for something more than his/herself. I think it’s admirable.

It’s not like Boston has a great history, either.

MARATHON

(Image courtesy of KatherineSwitzer.com)

I get that it’s prestigious and maybe that draws some people. But what about the rest? I would really like to know, those of you have been or are hell-bent on getting there…

…why?

Why Boston?

Just wondering.

Now go out and run!

 

From A Newbie Marathoner

Tonight, I am shamelessly going to direct you to my blog friend Ali’s recap of her very first marathon that she completed on Saturday in the Hamptons. You might think, “oh, the Hamptons sounds like ann exciting place to run…maybe I’ll run right into J. Lo or Alec Baldwin.” Can I tell you, it is no small feat that Ali #1. completed her first marathon and #2. did it out in the Hamptons. The Hamptons is the boonies, people. I mean, farmland and deserted roads with scattered mansions along the beach. The season of everybody going out and partying in the Hamptons ended Labor Day weekend and that place is a ghost town these days. No small feat at all for her to have slogged through late miles with few crowds to cheer her on (though her family gets and A++ for cheerleading). It’s not like the New York Marathon where there are crowds everywhere. So, mad props on both fronts, Ali!

Ali’s journey to the marathon was part of the Run For The Rabbit campaign sponsored by my favorite running shoe store here in the city, JackRabbit Sports. Ali has Chron’s disease and her charity of choice was the Chron’s and Colitis Foundation of America. She finished second in her fundraising efforts (amazing!) and raised over $20,000 for CCFA. This charity is close to my heart, too, because I was diagnosed and am learning to live with Ulcerative Colitis. I’d like to thank Ali *very* publicly for all of her efforts to help researchers discover more about our collective diseases and work towards a cure. *sniff*

Marathons (or any races at all) always mean more to me when I’m running for someone besides myself. Don’t get me wrong, I run for me, too. But when I’m struggling through a tough part of the race, what gets me through is not my vanity or my desire to be a better runner, it’s the idea that I’m out there for people who can’t be out there for themselves. Ali ran for herself, but she ran for me, too. And I will never forget that. *sniff*sniff*

Imagine the impact you could have on someone’s life just by choosing run for a charity…

Consider this next time you sign up for a race. Did you know you can always raise money at any race for any charity? Just contact them and find out how to set up a donation page. Simple as that.

Anyway, her recap is worth reading. It made me cry, which is apparently not too hard to do today. Ali’s hard work and dedication to her training is both admirable and inspiring. She is also to blame for my current addiction to 16 Handles.

Now go out and run, friends!

Maybe share a little about who/what inspires you these days???

You Gotta Want It

Today was the NYC Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure. It’s a 3.1 mile run/walk that raises money towards finding a cure for breast cancer. A big thanks to all the members of Team Keeping Our Boobs (cousins and friends are THE BEST!) and everyone who so generously donated to our team. Love to JAM Team whom we stand side by side with on this journey. My world has been touched by breast cancer more times than I care to count and I’ve found great solace in participating in this race for about 14 years now.

That's me! Passionately Pink for the Cure!

Every time I participate in this very special run, I am touched by the amount of survivors who come out. Old, young, bald, recently diagnosed, long-time survivors, they’re all there. I am struck, though, by how many more people I see running for their sisters, moms, aunts, friends, grandmothers. I don’t remember there being so many.

This year, as I ran through Central Park past the survivors who started their race before the rest of us, I realized one important thing about survivors: fighting isn’t enough. You have to want to fight. These women were out there walking for themselves because they want to fight, to beat this disease and move on with their lives. It’s inspiring.

When I watched my loved ones fight (the same damned cancer twice for one of them) and make the decision to go ahead with chemotherapy and radiation (AGAIN), I realized that they wanted to fight. And fight they did. But they could have just as easily said, “You know what, I’m done” and not gone ahead with any treatment. Or, they could have said, “Whatever, I guess I’ll do treatment, but my heart really isn’t in it, poor me” and suffered more than was necessary (and maybe gotten sicker) during treatment. But they made the choice to fight and that was it. And that is what made the difference.

So, I take my hat off to you survivors out there and your desire to fight like hell against immeasurable odds, knowingly surrendering yourself to torture and making it through to the other side with grace and strength. I am in awe of you. All of you. We also remember with love and admiration the ones who fought like hell til the end. We miss you.

And to you who are in the midst of a new diagnosis (or that of a loved one): You have a choice. Fight. Fight like hell.

Now go out and run!