EVENT: 2015 Boston Marathon
If you’ve ever thought running a marathon is completely idiotic, feel free to crack a little smile, because you are entirely right. Last year I decided to register for Grandma’s Marathon in northern Minnesota. I wasn’t far into training for my first marathon when I quickly discovered all of the gifts it so generously delivers- thighs that are convinced they’re being torn to shreds, cramping calves that bring you to tears, the inability to get out of bed in the morning without feeling you’ve somehow aged several decades overnight, not to mention a downright surly digestive system that rebels with “runs” of its own if it doesn’t receive exactly the right kinds of food with precision timing. So if you think running a marathon is idiotic, I can’t really disagree with you.
I remember promising myself over and over again that I would never again put myself through such pain and anguish, all the while secretly hoping to run a Boston qualifying time in my first marathon. 26.2 miles later I gladly broke all promises I had made to myself as I crossed the finish line in time to make Boston a reality.
So once again I find myself with irate muscles and a rebellious digestive system as I prepare to do it all over again. Only my second race is sure to be an even better experience. This April I will be running Boston as a sighted guide, which means I will run alongside a visually impaired runner giving them directions and pointers along the way. Because enabling someone else to inflict pain on themselves for 26.2 miles sounds like a decent thing to do, right?
While I can’t explain why running brings others or myself so much joy, I can tell you how excited I am to be running Boston with Team With a Vision! I have never met the runner I will be guiding, but just knowing that she or he is somewhere out there putting in countless hours of training like myself, and doing so without the luxury of full vision, makes getting out of bed at 4-something in the morning to run a little easier. I am humbled by their determination and ability to train for and run a full marathon. Makes any fully abled person’s accomplishments seem pretty minor, huh?
Each year the Boston Marathon TWAV works to raise money for The Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI), a department of MAB Community Services. Please join me if you can in supporting them!
Here’s a little more info on who they are and what they do:
Founded in 1903, MAB Community Services is a diversified human services organization serving blind and visually impaired individuals, adults with developmental disabilities, and students struggling with the challenges of autism spectrum disorder, behavioral health diagnoses, brain injury, and other neurological conditions. For the last twenty-two years, MAB Community Services has coordinated Team With A Vision, a team of blind, visually impaired, and sighted athletes running in the Boston Marathon to raise money for MAB. The funds raised through Team With A Vision’s participation in the Boston Marathon will support The Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI), a department of MAB Community Services that provides vision rehabilitation services, support groups, and one-on-one volunteer matches for blind and visually impaired individuals across Massachusetts.