Last night was the Marathon Coalition kick-off for the 2016 Boston Marathon and the beginning of my 20th year of coaching charity runners.
I mentioned to the nearly 200 runners the next 4.5 months would be one of the most meaningful periods in their lives. Each year I am blessed to experience the transformation that occurs from this evening until they cross the finish line of the Boston Marathon and beyond!
As I looked into the crowd of runners and staff members of the 19 charities of the 2016 Marathon Coalition team, I could literally feel the nervousness, anticipation and the determination to provide hope and opportunity to people who have gone far too long without both.
I am blessed to play a very small role in the significant goal of completing the Boston Marathon and making such a considerable difference in the lives of others and the world.
Beyond providing hope and opportunity, this group is also literally providing the gift of life. A runner from Tufts Medial Center approached me at the end of the evening and mentioned she wouldn’t be able to attend many of our Saturday trainings because she wanted to attend activities of her 5-year-old daughter who is battling lymphoma.
Tufts Medical Center has been instrumental in keeping her daughter alive and she’s committed to reciprocating by running the Boston Marathon to raise funds for their mission. I cannot think of a better training to miss training that enjoying the life of someone who understands how precious it is and can so easily be taken.
I never take for granted the opportunity to join such a small group of determined and committed runners in their journey to serve others. It is truly one of the greatest blessings of my life.
As I offered my closing remarks, I encouraged each person to take time to reflect on why they are embarking on this journey, what they want to get out of it and, most importantly, what they are willing to invest in the effort.
There is very little more compelling, powerful and inspirational than a group of people committed to the promise of tomorrow!
P.S. Photo provided my two-time Marathon Coalition runner Stephanie Cave.