I run to keep healthy, I run to enjoy time spent with the various guides who make the experience possible, and I run to challenge myself to grow and improve beyond what I might have expected–to find my limits and see if I can’t stretch them further with planning and perseverance.
I run the Boston Marathon for similar reasons and because it is a race that typically goes well beyond celebrating the elite athletes. This event celebrates the incredible examples of the human spirit at its finest. Whether people are running despite overwhelming circumstances or running in support of people or causes because they are inspired by those same incredible circumstances of adversity, the reality is people run with a purpose to fuel the incredibly challenging journey from Hopkington to Boston. I want to be a part of the team that chooses to celebrate the human spirit and to believe in the power of unity to change lives and our world as we tend the most important race of all: the Human Race.
This year I do not get to run the traditional route because it is far from a typical year. Covid is the primary challenge, although without a doubt division is a tremendous challenge. I won’t be running alone as I run because someone (thank you, Rodney Andre) and the many others who have given of their time and talent for many years, choose to guide me. I relish the message of unity in our running as a team. We support each other every stride and have done so for months of intense training.
Now on Monday, September 7 we get to run the virtual version of the Boston Marathon. I’ll have my official bib, and with support from Team with a Vision and the Boston Athletic Association we will setup as much of the race day experience as possible from the driveway of my home, through the neighborhood streets in a 2-mile loop. Each return trip past the house we’ll have signs with a “gratitude banner” for my appreciation of an organization, company, or people who have made so much of this and many of my experiences possible. I’m certainly emphasizing how much 2020 Vision Quest has motived me through this and the organizations who support us fill me with gratitude, and gratitude will fuel me often.
I’ll have mile markers counting up and down as we put up signs for town after town on our virtual journey along the course. We hope to add as much to the experience as possible but we won’t have the thousands of people lining the streets and given the risks of Covid-19 and my elevated risks, that’s probably a good thing.
We absolutely would welcome every person who finds their way to drop by and wish us well along our way. We are keeping physically distant and within that still hope to make as worthy an opportunity as possible. From the National Anthem pre-race at 6:54 to the 7:00 am start, we’ll do everything we can for my most successful run of 26.2 miles. When we finally cross the finish line in front of my home, ideally between 10:30 and 10:45, we’ll put on our Finisher Metals and jubilantly celebrate the friendship, teamwork, hard work, unity, and most of all many demonstrations of the incredible human spirit to overcome adversity. I hope you’ll find a way to join us in some fashion in this goal!