Wonderful Perspective

Posted: April 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Boston Marathon was just a week ago, although it seems so much longer.  It is amazing how extremely different the weather was yesterday versus a week ago; running in the cold and rain would have presented other challenges but it would have been my preference over the extreme heat of April 16th.

I have enjoyed the correspondence  between Marathon Coalition TEAM members since the marathon.  It’s always so gratifying to observe the sense of accomplishment and perspective that runners have in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon.  This year I had numerous runners from various states on the TEAM.  They certainly bring an interesting dynamic to the group because they aren’t able to attend our weekly training in Newton. 

I’m always concerned their experience will be lessened because of their distance but, without exception, I’m always impressed by their level of commitment and positive attitude.  I would like to share an excerpt from Jason Caton from the Mass Mentoring Partnership TEAM, he captured the Boston Marathon experience wonderfully.

“I could not be more proud to be a part of this team.  The challenges of this race were large.  We all trained for such a long time and I don’t think any of us were marathon runners before.  This level of training took huge amounts of time and effort.  That’s time we could have spent with our family, friends, or in bed.  Some of us suffered through injuries along the way and were able to fight past that frustration and still become a finisher of the most prestigious race in the world – GOOD JOB TEAM!

On top of that we raised over $84,000 for Mass Mentoring.  THAT’S AMAZING!!!  (BTW, Jeff and Sheree – wow, WOW!).  Our efforts in raising this money will be used to better the lives of so many kids.  That alone makes it all worth it. Having benefited from strong mentors in my life I am so honored to have that level of fundraising to support mentors for future generations.

For me, finishing was very emotional.  I grew up in central Mass and celebrated every Patriots Day by heading to the marathon. Often we would catch the Sox game and then run to Kenmore to see the runners. At this point in my life I have run a lot of races but always knew that I wanted Boston to be my first marathon.  When the opportunity to run Boston AND raise money for Mass Mentoring came up it was a no brainer.  My personal life is full of mentoring and I would not be where I am today if not for the mentors I had.  Unfortunately I developed a stress fracture in my right foot during my training and I was unable to run at all until 2 weeks before the marathon.  It was about 7 weeks of inactivity and that killed my training schedule. My longest run was 16 miles and that had been over 2 months before the marathon.  When I learned of the crazy heat on race day I was wicked worried about finishing.  So when I crossed the finish line and saw my wife standing in the bleachers cheering, I just started bawling.  LOL, seriously, I was crying as I crossed the finish and could not stop for several minutes.  No idea where it came from but I just could not help it.  I gave my wife a huge hug, proudly got my medal, and ran off to the airport.  It was one of the BEST experiences of my life and I really don’t care that it took me 5 hours to finish (5 hours and 12 minutes actually).  It was all worth it.

So when you look at the finish times of all those runners who “qualified” for the Boston Marathon, just remember that you are every bit as deserving of that medal.  In my mind, we all deserve it a little more than they do.  We are not elite runners and we worked our butts off to train and raise money for an amazing charity. All those qualifying runners did was run another race a little faster. They ARE “serious” runners and they should have been able to finish the Boston Marathon. Heat or no heat they are the “better” athletes.  We were the exception to the rule. We are the runners the media and race directors really worried about.  But we are the runners that beat the race and the heat when over 6,000 other runners (many of whom qualified) opted to defer their entry until next year.  WE DIDN’T DEFER, WE RAN – AND FINISHED!!

We earned our medals and should be proud to call ourselves Boston Finishers.”-Jason Caton 2012 Boston Marathon Finisher

Comments
  1. Totally got me all teary eyed again! I am so happy I finished. Although its taken me almost a week to come to that, seeing and hearing everyone tell me how proud they are is an amazing feeling. I’m looking forward to Hartford!

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