BENEFITING: Harvard College Marathon Challenge
ORGANIZER: Harvard College Marathon Challenge
EVENT: 2013 Boston Marathon
Dear Family and Friends,
Welcome to my fundraising page for the 2013 Boston Marathon! This will be my second marathon and I am both excited and honored to be running with Harvard College Marathon Challenge (HCMC) again! Last year, I completed the marathon in just under 4.5 hours. This year my first goal is still to enjoy the experience as much as possible and set a new PR for my finishing time. Moreover, I am excited to use my marathon experience as an opportunity to make a big impact on the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) which is a Harvard based charity that makes a big difference for Boston underprivileged youth. Although this letter is long, I hope that you will read it in its entirety and learn more about my race, PBHA, and how you can contribute.
As you are reading this letter, I can imagine that it would be a shock that I am running a marathon, especially the Boston Marathon. Only 4 years ago, I was a 285 pound offensive lineman who had never run more than two miles, let alone 26. However in the last four years my life has changed dramatically.
In the fall of 2009, my life was at all-time high. I had left my small pond of Avondale High School to compete with the best at Harvard University. In my wake, I left a great four years of high school, filled with great memories as a high school football captain, homecoming king, and leader of my class. However, Harvard presented a whole new challenge. When I arrived on campus I was determined to find my place and bust my tail to be great. I was on the football team and had a full load of pre-med classes to occupy my first few months away from home. Yet, I had no idea my first year at Harvard would change the trajectory of my life forever.
My first football practice with the Harvard University Crimson was electric. I had finally fulfilled my dream to play division one college football and I was going to make the most out of it. I will never forget when I ran on the field put my helmet on and smiled from ear to ear at my coaches and new teammates, I was ready to start another great career. However, as the season wore on, it became apparent that I wasn’t going to be the next great Harvard offensive lineman. I can remember vividly when my dad, the man who had “forced” me to play football as a youth, came up to me after parent’s weekend and said, “Son, are you sure you want to keep playing football? You’re 40 pounds lighter than the next lineman. You’re getting yourself killed.” After three months of daily practices, film sessions, and morning lifts, December rolled around and football season was over. As I looked back on my season I had had an awesome experience. I made many of my best friends at Harvard and experienced some of the greatest mentorship a freshman could ask for. But the great thing about football is it is a sport where facts win every time. At seasons end, I was both physically and mentally defeated. I knew that for my body’s sake my football career would have to be cut short.
After telling my coaches and teammates that I would not be returning to the team the following year, I found myself at a crossroads. For the past 7 years of my life football had defined my identity. In my mind, I had always been a football player first, everything else came second. What would I do with my new found free time? What would be my ‘thing’? The answers to those questions seemed far away, but I knew one thing was for sure, I had to get in shape. At 245 pounds I wasn’t fat, but I wasn’t the face of good health either. I had watched both of my parents struggle with their weight for my entire life. Moreover, in less than a year I would lose three grandparents who all suffered from the effects of obesity. I was determined to be different. I began to dive into fitness and nutrition because I wanted to transform my body; that would be my new competition.
In addition to a strict diet and weight lifting, I began to introduce running in my regiment in order to shed extra pounds. What started off as 3 miles twice a week quickly became an obsession. Running was awesome. The sense of accomplishment and vitality I felt after every long run was intoxicating and I began to develop an insatiable appetite to run more and run farther. Only one thing could compare to my runner’s high, the feeling I used to get when I was a dominant football player; I had finally found a new passion and was determined to nurture it.
Since then, my love for running has only grown. From my short 3 mile loops that seemed like major accomplishments, I have now ran 7 races including two half-marathons (13.1 miles) and last year's full Boston Marathon. This summer, after running my first marathon, I thought I would take at least a few years away from Marathon running to refuel. However, after watching my roommate Denny Purcell enter the 2013 race after defeating Hodgkins Lymphoma I knew I had to run again in 2013.
This year, both Denny and my other roommate Robert Tamai will be joining me in Hopkinton for Marathon day. As I write to you now, I am more energized than ever about running and the opportunity to participate in the 2013 Boston Marathon. With less than 3 weeks left until race day, my training is well under way and I’m excited to run my second full marathon. For me this marathon is bigger than a race. Finishing (in hopefully less than 4 hours!) will be a huge victory and opportunity to support two of my best friends, Denny and Robert. I am determined to perform to the best of my abilities and truly appreciate your support in this effort.
In order to run the marathon, I have pledged to raise money for the Phillips Brook House Association (PBHA). PBHA is a Harvard-based charity that operates over 70 programs in the Boston-area. Specifically, the money I am able to raise will support the Summer Urban Program (SUP). SUP is a summer enrichment program for youth in Boston and Cambridge. Through 12 summer camps Harvard students are able to serve over 800 youth through educational enrichment and fun around Boston!
I really appreciate any support you can give to my effort. Whether your donation is large or small, every little bit helps. I am really excited to give back to the Boston and Harvard communities that have given so much to me in the past 3 years. Below is more information on how you can get involved and track my progress. Thank you very much for your support!
About PBHA & SUP:
PBHA is a Harvard-based charity that operates over 70 programs in the Boston-area. Specifically, SUP is a summer enrichment program for youth in Boston and Cambridge. Through 12 summer camps Harvard students are able to serve over 800 youth through educational enrichment and fun around Boston!
Want more info about the Boston Marathon or Harvard College Marathon Challenge?
Check out the links below:
Thank you again for all your support!
Harvard College Marathon Challenge wrote -
Harvard College Marathon Challenge (HCMC) is an organized group of Harvard students, employees, and alums that raises money, through running, to benefit the health, education, and welfare of Boston-area youth and families. Your donation to HCMC will benefit the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) Summer Urban Program (SUP). PBHA SUP delivers educational and enrichment programming to underserved youth throughout the Greater Boston area. Since its inception in 2005-06, HCMC runners have raised over $250,000 for causes such as PBHA SUP. Thanks for your generosity, no matter how large or how small!