I am a third grade teacher in a large urban district in Central California. My class consists of amazing learners with a high percentage of at-risk youth and an alarmingly high number of them impacted by trauma. We spend a great deal of our time focusing on social-emotional learning and overcoming challenges. Since the beginning of the school year, we have talked a lot about developing a growth mindset. I try to reinforce the value of perseverance, that when learning or life get challenging, it is our job to persist. Hence, I shared my running goal and qualifying for the Boston Marathon with my students.
After months of preparation to qualify for Boston, I was prepared to run a Boston Qualifying time at the Santa Rosa, CA marathon on August 26th. The night before, I wasn’t feeling well and due to an alarm mix-up, I was 24 minutes late to the start. I made the decision to cross the starting line and go for it. My watch time from start to finish was 3:43...a Boston Qualifier.Unfortunately, my time could not be adjusted to my chip time so my official time did not qualify.
When I returned to class after the race, I shared what happened with my students. After listening to my story about the race and outcome, they asked, “What are you going to do Mrs. Harris?” Students ask profound questions. This was one of them. They inspired me persist until I had secured a race bib for the 2019 Boston Marathon. I have a daughter who lives in Brookline and who completed the 2018 Boston Marathon with Team Brookline. I am honored to join this year's team and answer my students' profound question with a resounding, “You persevere!”
Team Brookline, the Town of Brookline’s official Boston Marathon team, is a committed group of adult runners who train for the Boston Marathon while raising funds for five partner charities that play an integral role in strengthening and enriching our community: The Brookline Center for Community Mental Health, Brookline Education Foundation, Brookline Library Foundation, Brookline Symphony Orchestra, and Brookline Teen Center.
Since its inception in 2012, more than 125 runners, supported by friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, and each other, as well as local business community, have raised $1.2 million to strengthen our community and make a true impact in the lives of all who live, work, or go to school in Brookline. When you train and run with Team Brookline, you strengthen our community, expanding access to mental health care, literacy, the arts, youth development programs and education.
Learn more at www.teambrookline.org.