Why I ran the Boston Marathon and what it means to me
Thu, April 24, 2014 at 11:56
Brad Spiegel in Boston Marathon, Chris Torggler, IHRSA Member News, Kelly Coates, Precor, TheStick, Theresa Duffy

Photo by Brad Spiegel

There were undoubtedly scores of IHRSA staff, IHRSA members and those related to them that either ran the Boston Marathon on Monday or lined the streets to cheer.

Like everyone else, they had different reasons to take on the grueling, 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Boston, crossing six other communities in between, as a runner, or spend the day yelling for mostly strangers.

We welcome submissions from IHRSA members, members of IHRSA clubs, and anyone else associated with them, who ran or was one of millions of spectators along the route. E-mail them to bjs@ihrsa.org with a photo (if possible).

The following are their reasons, in their words, why they ran and what it means to them. Check back as we expect to add more as submissions come in.

Theresa Duffy
Senior Manager, Sponsorship & Promotions

When I think about this years Marathon its hard to put it into words. I want my family, friends and all spectators to return to the fun family event I have always known the Marathon to be. 

Going to the Marathon as a spectator has always been a day full of laughs and memories. When I decided to run my first marathon I did because "I thought it would be fun." It was so fun that I've run it more then once. 

When I say its fun people think I'm crazy. I explain that my approach to Marathon Day:

I run in honor of my sister Julie and Marathon day is just as much about my entire family (4 sisters, our children and our parents) as it is for me. My family spreads out along the route and I simply run from one family to the next. I'm not going to win so I stop say "Hello"  and take a photo along the route. After I pass by they notify the others that they saw me, how I'm doing and if they think I'll need anything. 

My family has distributed candy, waters and more to the runners. There are always a few stories about how many candies the kids eat instead of handing out. The children usually meet a few friends to cheer with and everyone comes home with an story or two. 

For me much of the days memories are around seeing my family and the experiences they have throughout the day. 

I tell you all this because the fun has been seeing the joy in all of my family, friends and spectators faces along the course. 

My hope this year is that the marathon will be a fun enjoyable event as it has for so many years. 

Kelly Coates
IHRSA Membership Account Representative

I am so honored to be running the Boston marathon this year for Team Dana Farber. I ran Boston back in 2011 and it was an amazing journey. One that you can't explain unless you've cross the finish line. The cheering. Camaraderie between runners. And complete strangers screaming your name when you need them most on Heartbreak Hill. It is amazing. This year we will run harder, cheer louder and we will finish the the race stronger than ever before. 

I was in Kenmore last year when breaking new flashed on the TV's while sitting at Sweet Caroline's celebrating with the rest of Boston. After digesting what had happened to us and checking in with family and friends, I turned to my friend and said "I will run Boston next year". And here I am. I'm a born and raised Boston gal and knew that I had to run this year - for the city and for those who can't run anymore. This race will be an emotional one for sure, but above all it will be a 26.2 mile celebration. 

This year I will honor my brother, Jack - a 12 year brain cancer survivor. I was Jack's bone marrow donor in 2012 and we have a lot to be thankful for this year. I will also honor my Patient Partner, Delaney - a 5-year-old little girl who I have been paired up with by Dana Farber during this 26.2-mile journey. Delaney was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in May 2013 and is currently cancer free - but still has a long road ahead. Delaney's strength has pushed me through tough training days as she continues to inspire me everyday. Delaney may not be running with me, but I will carry her in my thoughts every step I take and am very excited to see her at mile 25! 

Chris Torggler
Global Commercial Director, Precor 

My quest to run in my first Boston Marathon actually began in 2010 after “unknowingly” qualifying in a Marathon near Bar Harbor, Maine.  Unfortunately, I did not take advantage of it and I had to listen to my good friend, Joe Krill, give me grief for over 3 years.  Given the events of last year’s Marathon, I made it a personal goal to qualify and run in the 2014 event. Adding to this was the commitment my entire family showed in wanting to join me in the experience.  The bottom line, failing to qualify was not an option.  I did so at another special event, the 150th celebration of the Battle of Gettysburg Marathon, recognizing a key battle in the Civil War.

I had heard of all the support and excitement surrounding the Boston Marathon, but nothing could have prepared me for the pure emotion that Boston and the surrounding towns showed. I arrived on Saturday and seeing all the runners proudly wearing their Boston Marathon shirts, Jackets, hats, etc. really set the stage. Walking the streets and talking freely with fellow runners was pretty special.  The pride for the city was most evident with my Segway tour guide, as he  showed my family around the streets of Boston.  He was so thankful for people returning to Boston because of how much the city wanted to show its resiliency.

As I took the long bus ride out to Hopkinton, I received some advice from a fellow runner, who was running her third Boston event.  She told me to make certain I cherish and enjoy each town as I travel over the miles. Since it was my first, it should be less about my time, more about the experience.  I took her advice as I ran through each town and savored each moment.  Seeing such huge crowds and hearing them cheering on a perfect stranger with such joy made it impossible to put my headphones in my ears.

I completed the race, a little slower than I would have liked, but still qualifying for the 2015 race.  I will apply to be back next year for sure and will continue to let everyone know how special the Boston Marathon experience was! It should definitely be a bucket list race for any runner!


We – TheStick.com - have been exhibiting at the Boston Marathon Expo every year since 1997. While the Boston Marathon is only one of our 160+ expos we attend, the expo as well as race is unlike any other and we look forward to returning to this wonderful city every year, months ahead of time.

This unique point to point race with a long tradition of great road racing and spectator support attracts runners from all over the world trying to qualify for this marathon or enter through a charity. Due to the fact that most runners have to run a certain time to qualify for the marathon, it has a special meaning.

We had two runners in the race this year, and most of our sales team watched the race and cheered on the runners. To us, the marathon is a "celebration of life" and to feel alive. While the marathon distance can be very humbling, Heartbreak Hill and the Finish Line with it’s outstanding and vocal spectators, is exhilarating.

While the painful memory of last year's tragic incident is still fresh in our memory, we were glad to see the increased number of runners this year (about 9,000 runners more) that showed up in full force.

Thank you for an outstanding job Boston and we look forward to coming back next year.



Article originally appeared on IHRSA (http://www.ihrsa.org/).
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