Running the Boston Marathon

On Monday, April 21st 2014, Gina from our US office ran the Boston Marathon as part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) team.  This is her story:

DFMC runners include cancer survivors and patients, as well as family and friends of those who have been affected by cancer.  It’s a truly remarkable team of individuals that inspired me greatly throughout the training season.  After running the marathon in 2012, I vowed that I would never experience anything like it again.  However, the 2014  marathon was beyond what I experienced in 2012.  My journey to the marathon began in November and I spent the next five months devoting myself to training and fundraising.  Each weekend I ran 14 or more miles in the cold, snow, sleet and rain eventually getting up to my longest training run of 22 miles.  Training for the marathon and making it a priority is a huge commitment on time and is physically demanding.  Toward the end of training, I felt the effects of running and why our bodies don’t want us to do this; however, it was extremely rewarding  and has allowed me to raise over $11,000 in two years! The entire experience was profoundly touching and I will never forget the immense support I received from family, friends, and co-workers.

The training season went by quickly and before I knew it, it was marathon weekend.  The night before the marathon my team held a pasta party.  It was a massive event where team members and their families gathered and it’s when you realize you’ve gotten into something big.  The pasta party is a time for celebration and reflection upon your journey and why we’re all there.  There are amazing speakers who inspire you and talk about how the money our team raised is being spent and what has been accomplished, such as improving survival rates through new cancer treatments.  They announced that our team of 700 runners have collectively raised over 7 million dollars.  They bring out the Jimmy Fund patients, and then you remember once again that it’s not about you anymore.

The next morning I took a bus to the start line in Hopkinton.  The race began and it was an incredible atmosphere, I remember how it felt so much bigger than just a race.  I was “carried” across the eight towns from Hopkinton to Boston by hundreds of thousands of spectators, their enthusiasm and devotion to the spirit of Boston is what brought the day all together.  Seeing my friends, family, and co-workers throughout the course and the amazing fans passing out ice cubes, cheering “Go Dana-Fabah” in that thick Boston accent and other shouts of encouragement to me personally were amazing.  I’m not sure if my hands hurt more from giving high fives or if my legs hurt more!  Turning left onto Boylston and approaching the finish line was surreal and few moments will ever compare to finishing that race.  It was everything the day was supposed to be about: athleticism, patriotism, accomplishment, mind-blowing, marvellous, and wonderfully painful.  It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, yet most rewarding at the same time and the memories I have from that day will last a lifetime.  I completed the race in 4 hours and 35 minutes.  Since completing the marathon, I have never been so happy to be so sore!


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