Answer: 605.2 is the number of miles it will take for me to train for and run the 2013 Boston Marathon.
In the past year there is a really good chance that you have seen me running around town either alone or, more often than not, with my dog. I’ve been referred to as “that running guy”, “the running guy with the dog”, or most often, as just plain crazy.
I’ve been out in the heat, humidity, and cold. I’ve been out in rain, snow, wind, sleet, and any other weather condition that’s hit us since last October. Leaving from my house just off of Vale Street, I have set foot in no less than 6 of the surrounding towns during one run or another. I’ve gone through more pairs of shoes (you call them sneakers, “we” call them shoes) in the past year than I had in the 10 years before.
I’m not a very fast runner, and I probably never will be. I really can’t tell if I’m any good at it because I just strive to, at the very least, not get any slower. Hell, I had never really done anything remotely athletic in my life - unless they've settled the debate as to whether (bad) golf is indeed a sport. I do it because I love it, because I feel great inside and out, and because I love the challenge.
My name is Matt Parr, I’m a Tewksbury resident, and I will be running the 2013 Boston Marathon for the American Liver Foundation’s Run For Research Team in honor of my Dad who passed away from liver cancer in 2007. This is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide community-based education, research, support, and advocacy related to help prevent and treat liver disease. I do have a fundraising goal as a member of this team but I’m looking at it as a positive. The way I view it is that every step I take and every dollar I raise will make a difference in the lives of the millions of Americans living with liver disease. That alone is some pretty inspiring stuff.
I ran my first marathon this past September and after wished that I had chronicled my summer of training, the days leading up to the race, how I felt during the race, and in the days after. All I can say is that it was an incredible experience. I learned a lot not only about myself (both physically and mentally) but also a lot about the human spirit, the ability to overcome obstacles when a goal is within reach, and the incredible power of the will to succeed. Ironically, these are all of the things that it takes to survive the ultimate marathon: the battle that so many fight on an hourly basis against a life threatening disease.
I have chosen to write this blog to chronicle the next few months of training, being a part of a team, the race itself, and the whole experience of being a charity runner in the Boston Marathon. It’s not so much to share my experience with others but a way to get it out of my head. If someone enjoys reading my posts and even gets a glimmer of inspiration, that would be fantastic and I would find that very flattering.
I am also writing this in the hopes that it “gets the word out” about what I am doing and maybe, just maybe, it would get some community involvement going. As I’ll mention as we go along, there are so many ways for people to help and the bigger my “team” the better! I can also keep you, faithful reader, abreast of any fundraising activities or events I have planned.
So, if you enjoy what you are reading, let me know. If you have any fundraising ideas or want to help, drop me a note. Oh, and if you see a guy with a cream colored dog running some morning beep and wave, that’ll be me and it would be great to know you’re watching.