For the past 121 years, the streets from Hopkinton to Boylston Street are lined with thousands of spectators for one of Boston’s greatest traditions: the Boston Marathon. Every runner, volunteer, and onlooker has their own story and history surrounding the Patriots Day race. These experiences connect and overlap, they spread hundreds of miles, and they are a part of a great history. They have stretched to Marianapolis, where numerous community members have challenged themselves to complete the race, and for some have chosen to give back through volunteering and charities.
Jared Huber ‘96 ran his first Boston Marathon -- his first ever marathon -- this year. He ran with the organization The Children’s Room, which provides supportive communities for grieving children, teenagers, and families. As a teacher at Winchester High School in Winchester, Mass., Huber is able to see first-hand the aid that The Children’s Room provides. Finishing at 5:52:06, Huber described the race as “an amazing experience. To be cheered on with such enthusiasm for 26.2 miles by strangers who don't even know you was such a motivating force.”
Huber’s classmate, Amy (West) Curtis ‘96, ran her first Boston Marathon as a qualifying runner and finished in 4:11:19. Even though she did not set out to qualify for the Boston Marathon, once she did she “felt like running Boston was something I couldn't not do.” Running with two close friends, she called the experience “amazing.” “The never-ending sea of spectators - family, friends, locals, young and old - offering support and encouragement along the entire 26.2 miles. The camaraderie of the running community - all having different reasons for being there but being in it together,” she explained.
For Christopher Stanton ‘74, he is used to competing in athletic events, having finished several marathons and an Ironman at Lake Placid. He sees these events as personal challenges. This year was Stanton’s first Boston Marathon, having qualified to run. Although the day was a bit hotter than he would have liked, Stanton said the event was very well organized and the spectators were great. He even wore a Marianapolis t-shirt while running and heard a few shouts of “Go Marianapolis!” along the route.
One of Marianapolis’ own faculty members, Elizabeth Edwards, completed her third Boston Marathon this year. Each year, she has qualified for the next year’s marathon. During her races, she has had the chance to meet runners from all over the country, but the most memorable was when she met Kathrine Switzer, the first female to run the Boston Marathon. “The most rewarding part of the experience for me is that even though I’ve done it before, every race is so different. The thing about running is that even if you plan everything the same, you sleep the same amount, you do your nutrition the same amount, you wear the same outfit, even if you try to standardize the process for yourself, you still have other factors that you have no control over, so that makes it an adventure, every time.”
From medical personnel, to public safety, there are hundreds of individuals working behind the scenes to ensure that the marathon goes smoothly. Richard “Buddy” Drew, Marianapolis’ Athletic Trainer, volunteered his expertise for his third marathon this year. Stationed at the Natick medical tent, Drew deals with orthopedic or musculoskeletal injuries of passing runners. He volunteers for numerous reasons, one of them being to help runners achieve their goal of finishing, “The people who run marathons have worked for thousands of hours to participate in the race. When they come into the tent they are at a low point. When I can help them recover from their injury, and mentally push them back on their journey, it’s amazing.” Along with Drew, Elaina Cosentino ‘14 and Anna Werge ‘13, both athletic training students, volunteered this year.
Rene Doug Daniels ‘75, CFO at Marianapolis, serves as the Tent Commander at the Natick medical tent. He has been an EMT for 15 years, and has volunteered at the marathon for just as long. Some of his responsibilities include feeding the staff, tracking issues that come through the tent, and coordinating transportation for injured or sick runners. Daniels notes that there is much more that goes into the marathon than people realize, “There’s so much more that goes on behind the scenes. Even how many buses there are, to radio operators, and police on duty. It’s a gigantic event. People have a lot of fun at it and that’s great, but I think it would be good for people to stop and think about how much effort other people are putting into it in order to make it that way.”