With the 123rd Boston Marathon just days away, we sat down with some of our teammates who are taking on the challenge – some of which are returning for their 7th marathon, and others are about to endure their first. While their PRs, playlists, and reasons to run vary, I think they can all agree that they’re just praying for better weather than last year.
1. Who are you running for and why? If you’re not running for a charity, tell us why you love to run!
Colleen Farrell, Federal Front Desk: I run for the American Liver Foundation. This will be my 4th time on their team. They are an incredible organization which – outside of B/SPOKE – is my fitness, running, and mission fam. I’ve been matched for the last two years with an incredible 12-year-old girl who needed a transplant last year and got it last May! She’s doing incredibly well so far. It’s amazing to see what research and the gift of a donor can provide to those who need it.
Sam Burke, Federal Front Desk: I am running for the Massachusetts General Hospital Emergency Response Department – the MGH Ready When Seconds Count! Marathon team. The MGH Emergency Response fund supports emergency preparedness activities, including training and research, allowing first responders to be ready for the next disaster, man-made or natural, at a moment’s notice. While hurricanes, floods, droughts and fires are a force of nature, they are exacerbated by the effects of Climate Change. While I am an avid supporter of protecting the planet, I am aware of current realities and strongly believe that we also need to prepare for the enhanced magnitude of disasters that are to come and Mass General’s Emergency Response team is working to do just that.
Becky Mitchell, R/DE Instructor: I am running for the American Liver Foundation. In the interests of full candor, a bucket list item of mine was to run the Boston Marathon before I turned 30. I knew that in order to accomplish this goal, I would need to raise money for a charity. I didn’t have any special connections to the BAA-recognized charities, and so was happy that Colleen Farrell (above) – persistently yet lovingly – encouraged me to apply for the American Liver Foundation Marathon Team. I was lucky enough to be selected and am so honored to be returning for a second year. The team is comprised of supportive, compassionate and hard-working people, all of whom are so committed to the organization’s mission.
Elena Bartholomew, Wellesley Front Desk: I am running for Last Call Foundation, a charity that raises money to support the education, funding, and research for the safety needs of firefighters. This is a charity founded in honor of fallen firefighter Michael Kennedy who sadly passed away 5 years ago in the Back Bay fire that was caused by his firehose burning. I had the pleasure of meeting Michael multiple times as he was a very important individual to my friend Sarah.
Caitlin Tucker, Federal Front Desk: I am running on Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s Race for Rehab Team! Spaulding treated many of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, and this year the marathon falls on the same day – April 15th. That being said, I am especially honored to be running with and for them in the 2019 Boston Marathon.
2. What number Marathon is this for you?
Colleen: This is my 5th Boston and 7th Marathon.
Sam: This is marathon NUMBER ONE!
Becky: Marathon #2! #BostonOrBust
Elena: This will be my 3rd marathon, 3rd time running Boston (2016, 2018, 2019)! This year is the most exciting though because my sister and I will be running together, for her first marathon!
Caitlin: This will be my 2nd marathon! My first was the Chicago Marathon this past October.
3. What will you be listening to on your run?
Colleen: Honestly B/SPOKE Instructor’s playlists. Things that really get me going when the hills are rough: “Legends,” Yellow Claw. “Loyal,” ODESZA. “Bird Set Free,” Sia. “This is Me,” on repeat from The Greatest Showman – #nojudgement.
Sam: I am currently listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks…by the time Marathon Monday rolls around I should be on book #6 – the Half Blood Prince!
Becky: My marathon playlist last year was a complete hodgepodge of music genres. Everyone had advised me that I likely would not need music during the race because of the crowd support, but I was so glad I made one considering last year’s conditions. My playlist included EDM, hip hop, classic rock, country and assorted remixes. Actually, a favorite memory of mine from last year was the song I was listening to while approaching the B/SPOKE crew at the Wellesley studio at Mile 13.1: “What’s Up” by Four Non Blondes. Completely random, but an absolute BANGER. ANYONE HAVE SUGGESTIONS?!
Elena: I actually don’t listen to anything when I run. It’s probably because when I ran track in high school we would always talk during our long runs, so still to this day I just like talking with friends or strangers, keeps things exciting! That said when I’m struggling (which all of us do at one point) I throw on some oldies whether that be Whitney, Elton, or Queen, oldies always seem to make me feel better!
Caitlin: I actually haven’t been wearing headphones while running. I have been training with my friend, Alana, who will be running alongside me. So I will be chatting with her and listening to all of the people cheering along those 26.2 miles!
4. What are you going to eat when you finish?
Colleen: All the Mac & Cheese I can. But the thing I think about most on the final stretch from Kenmore to Commonwealth to Hereford is that shower beer post-run.
Sam: Likely a MASSIVE bowl of pasta with pesto sauce, topped with LOTS of parmesan cheese.
Becky: The real question is what am I NOT going to eat when I finish the race?! I’ll probably eat: a cookie, pizza, chips, pretzels, fruit snacks, a liter of water and four beers.
Elena: This is SUCH tough question! I know I’m gonna need a nice cold beer and probably a burger with bacon, avocado and french fries! Yes – definitely a burger! MHM.
Caitlin: A large pepperoni pizza and a very tall brew.
We are immensely inspired by our amazing teammates & all the runners we know within both B/SPOKE’s & Boston’s fitness communities. Marathon Monday is one of our favorites days of the year – especially since we’re fortunate enough to be located right at the halfway point in Wellesley! Can’t wait to show up and support all of the badass athletes taking on the oldest annual marathon.