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Richard Similio

Richard Similio
Chicago, IL United States
Stuff About Me:

I initially joined CrowdRise to raise funds for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, the organization for which the John Hancock Team is raising funds during the “run-up” to the 2014 Boston Marathon.  This is my first time both fundraising for a charitable organization and training for a marathon, and they are both worthwhile and have their challenges.  Though I no longer live in Boston (I am a graduate of Boston University, class of ’92) as a father of a beautiful ten year old girl (Evelyn Autumn) I understand the need for the recreational and social outlet that the Boys and Girls Clubs provides.  And as a recreational baseball player and coach, I know what it takes to work hard and strive to succeed despite long odds.  There’s only one way I know to achieve both goals, that of meeting my fundraising goal and finishing the marathon injury free. That is: Persevere.  If I put in the time and keep my focus strong and narrow, I have no doubt that I will succeed.  That is, with your generosity….

My previous career was as an actor, though currently I play the role of property manager for John Hancock Life Insurance Company, managing a 42 story high rise in downtown Chicago.  I actively pursue good opportunities and challenges, hence my running the Boston Marathon at 45 years old.  When the chance came up to enter the lottery for one of John Hancock’s time exempt registrations, I was excited at the thought of running in what will be both a memorable and emotional event due to the tragedy that unfolded during last year’s race.  But when I initially didn’t get a spot, I was relieved.  The thought of training for and running a marathon was overwhelming, and not running it was fine by me.  But then I cleared the waitlist, and the possibility became a reality.  Was I actually going to try to do this?  How could I say no?

Training has been a trial all its own.  Training for baseball is all about speed, not endurance.  You hit the ball or look to make a play defensively, and you’re sprinting at full speed trying to get to a spot.  But running a marathon isn’t a sprint, it’s a process.  It’s putting in the miles so that your legs are ready, and getting your mind ready for six hours on the road.  That’s my goal, to finish in less than six hours.  Friends who run marathons tell me I’ll be faster than that, that the adrenaline will take me where I haven’t gone before.  But while I appreciate the thought, I only hope that I’m done before they start clearing the streets.  I’ll finish for sure, even if Tuesday dawns before I do so.

Lastly, this is a homecoming of sorts for me.  I haven’t been to Boston since I moved a year or so after I graduated.  I lived in the neighborhoods along Commonwealth Avenue and then in Central Square across the river in Cambridge for my final year.  I was fortunate enough to work at American Repertory Theatre for a season thereafter, living and working in Harvard Square.  I have good memories from that time and would have stayed had it made sense for a young actor in Boston at the time.  But Chicago beckoned, and so my life began in the Midwest.  That was twenty years ago.

In addition to the festivities surrounding the marathon, my girlfriend Jackie and I plan to spend a week taking in the city.  We’ll see the Red Sox play the Yankees the day after the race (we got tickets!) and hit all the old spots I used to call home.  If we’re lucky, it’ll become our new favorite city (though New Orleans will be tough to beat).

Wish me luck, support our cause and help make this whirlwind tour of Boston one that will be remembered for many years to come.



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Richard Similio's Fundraisers

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