Sunday, August 24, 2014

Support Crew and Still Boston Strong

When L Street posted that they needed support crew for the Fall Marathon training long runs, I raised my hand ahem I clicked my mouse and said I'd be delighted to be support crew again for marathon training.

What a difference being support crew in the summertime. Three bags of ice and coolers along with plenty of water and Gatorade are on the supply list. We had a lobster pot that we've never cooked lobsters in but made for a great way to keep beverages cold.

Our water stop was just as runners exited the beautiful Emerald Necklace and were going to cross over Park Drive to Boston University and continue their run along the Charles River.

I always bring the cue sheet for the run because there is always at least one person who needs to take a look at the directions.

We arrived early and set up our table:

We sat back and relaxed in the beautiful morning sun while waiting for the first runners to arrive.

I love being there to ask runners how their run is going, what they need for fueling and to stay cool and to talk about what they are training for.

Many of us know each other but we don't have to know each other or each other's names. There is a universal language and sense of community among runners.

I love when I am out on the race course feeling the thrill of running for a PR as I did a few weeks ago at the Bill Rodgers 5K Run/Walk for Prostate Cancer but I also love serving runners, supporting runners on their quest to be their best; setting and attaining goals.

A small group of runners approached the table. I made eye contact with one of the runners and we looked into each other's eyes.

"Hey didn't I meet you at the Cambridge 5 Miler?"

It was Leo Foseca from Stephi's who was wearing a survivor shirt and just happened to be standing by our car after the Marathon Sports Cambridge 5 Miler. He joined L Street but this was his first long run with the club. He is training for the NYC Marathon. We went to Stephi's after visiting the Boston Marathon Memorial shortly before the running of the 2014 Boston Marathon.

"Team MR8 asked me if I would run for them. How could I say no."

Even though the events of 4/15/13 are now a distant memory, we still feel its echoes whenever we run and gather together. On the back of my L Street Club t shirt there is the Boston Strong ribbon with the words We Run As One.

We heal together. We run together. We celebrate sparkly Sweaty Bands and support our fellow runners when they are having a slog run. We offer cold water and ice, pretzels and swedish fish along with a high five, a fist pump, a warm smile and words of encouragement. We appreciate each other now more than ever. It is always an honor for me to be support crew whether we are huddled together in winter's polar vortex or helping runners to stay cool at the height of summer. We are and will always be Boston Strong and L Street Strong.

"Wait, I have one more goal," Mary McManus told her personal trainer in February of 2008 shortly after coming out of her toe up leg brace. "I want to run the Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab Hospital." Mary traded in her polio shoes for running shoes and embarked on the journey of a lifetime. Mary McManus was at the height of her career as a VA social worker when she was told by her team at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s International Rehab Center for Polio in December of 2006 that she needed to quit her job if she had any hope of preventing the progression of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. In “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility” Mary takes you on her seven year healing odyssey as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma from her diagnosis, to taking a leap of faith to leave her award winning career at the VA to heal her life and follow her passion as a poet and writer. You’ll experience her trials, tribulations and triumphs as she trains for and crosses the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and discovers the opportunity for healing in the wake of new trauma: the suicide of her nephew in 2011, and the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. This is Mary's journey of coming home to her human form free from the influences of the ghastly ghostly invaders who had invaded her sacred earthly home. Her memoir includes journals and blog posts from her seven year healing odyssey. This is her journey of transformation and her message of healing, hope and possibility.

I donate 50% of royalty payments through on line sales to The One Fund to help Boston Marathon survivors and their families. Copies are also available at Brookline Marathon Sports. $5 of each book sold at Marathon Sports is donated to The One Fund.

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