BENEFITING: FRIENDS OF THE PUBLIC GARDEN
ORGANIZER: FRIENDS OF THE PUBLIC GARDEN
EVENT: 2015 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 20, 2015
It tickles me to tell people I'll be running the 2015 Boston Marathon, for a bunch of reasons: First, running Boston has been my dream since I was twelve, when I started running. Second, I'm running on behalf of the Friends of the Public Garden, an organization that, as a landscape architect, I love to support -- because it supports some of Boston's most iconic and beloved public parks. And third, this race will mark (in a really big way) my return to running after a 29-year hiatus.
I started running in sixth grade; I remember how proud I was to go up to a local track in Providence, RI early in the morning and run a whole mile. This was well before Title IX, well before kids did any sort of organized running. I considered myself a runner all through high school and college: Miss the bus to school? Run the 2.5 miles to get there on time (and then add a few more miles for my sports teams after the school day)! Need to blow off steam after a midterm exam? Head out to run some hills! A long, challenging day at work? Change into shorts and running shoes and knock out a few miles!
Then, at 25, a detached retina sidelined me -- no more running, and some big adjustments to the loss of my beloved road time. I tried a few times to get back into the groove, but kept injuring myself, and decided that my running days must just be over.
Then just last June, 29 years later, a dear friend persuaded me to try again; he loved running the trails in our town, and wanted to share the experience with me. This time, I started very, very slowly, and learned to head out as if I were (as another friend put it) "a little old lady on ice". I love to go fast, but have learned that tempering my speed pays off with more sustainable fitness and no injuries. And now, discovering how to run safely and happily has reawakened my dream of running Boston.
When the Friends announced that they were looking for Team Friends candidates, I jumped at the chance. I have done design work for the Friends (check out the Boylston Street Border, the Public Garden plant bed along Boylston Street's edge between Arlington and Charles Street; my company has completed half the border's rehab, with completion of the second half to come in the next couple of years -- it looks fantastic!), I volunteer with the Friends, and I sit on the Friends' Horticulture Committee. As a landscape architect and an arborist, I believe deeply that we need public parks, and we need especially to maintain and manage them wisely once they have been established. And that's the Friends' mission -- they believe in tending with care and knowledge these spaces that so renew and refresh everyone who passes through them.
In a time of diminishing budgets for public spaces, the Friends do work that benefits all of Boston, and that makes the heart of Boston hospitable for people around the world. I am proud to be training and running for Team Friends, and the Friends and I are so grateful for the support of my family, my friends, and my professional colleagues in this effort. Thanks so much!