Tuesday, April 17, 2012

INK takes on the Boston Marathon...

This past weekend, the Invest in Kids (INK) co-directors teamed up to run the Boston Marathon in support the Invest in Kids Scholarship Fund. For those readers not familiar with the organization, INK is a tutor/mentorship program sponsored by the Carroll Graduate School of Management. For more information on INK see my previous post: Perpetual Growth: Why Investing in Kids Pays Off

Family, friends, classmates, and professors all came through in helping us raise over $10,000 in support of the Invest in Kids Scholarship Fund. For their generosity, we are immensely grateful. The scholarship fund, started by former INK directors and tutors, is an endowment that supports low-income college bound students who have participated in the Boston College Invest in Kids program and who have continued to be a part of Brookline's Steps to Success program.

And now on to the main event...The Marathon.

First off, I must say that I am in awe of the dedication and stamina put forth by my co-directors, Kim Clark and Michelle Pinnette. Training since last semester, they have run through snow (though not much this winter, thankfully), rain, sleet, and now 87 degree stew to make it through yesterday's marathon. Not even Professor John Gallaugher's exhausting, but rewarding 20 companies-in-five days death march could stop us from training as Michelle and I regularly passed each other this winter break while jogging to and from our hotel toward Stanford on University Avenue in Palo Alto, CA. 
Much credit and praise should be given to Kim and Michelle for running their first marathon.  And thanks to them, they pushed me outside my comfort zone to run my first 10 miles. Here is my story...

I started my run at Mile 16. I joined the pack just as I could see the cocky second-string, front-runners petering out due to over exerting themselves too early in the race. As I managed to keep pace with them up Heartbreak Hill, I fed off of the crowd cheering me on. With very little athletic prowess of my own, I felt like a rock star as I jogged past adoring fans holding signs that said "You [Wait, me? Yes, me!] Inspire Me!" Indeed, running really is the sport for the kid who couldn't make the basketball team. Believe me, I know.

Not long after starting, a Chestnut Hill housewife exclaimed, "You look great. Keep it up!" Of course I looked great, I was only three miles in. Unfortunately, compliments like this stopped for me before hitting Brookline. While running through Newton and Chestnut Hill, residents graciously handed out water and Twizzlers (On the Next Episode of Sh*t Rich People Do) to deflated runners as they crawled up Heartbreak. Regrettably, most of the families allowed their toddlers to hand out the orange slices. I had to respectfully decline - who knows where those toddler hands have been?

It was exhilarating running by Boston College on Marathon Monday. You couldn't help but get a mental and physical boost from the thousands of undergraduates lining the streets cheering you on. At one point, I'm pretty sure I was running next to the Fruit of the Loom characters. Whether it was a hallucination invoked by heat stroke or a demonstration of college brand humor, the absurdity of the moment and the chuckle that followed came at the right time. That said, Mile 21 by Boston College is like the love child of Mardi Gras and the Olympics. 

As I passed each notable landmark - Cleveland Circle, Washington Square, Coolidge Corner, etc. - I was greeted by familiar faces of friends who had come out to support the run. As I joined up with Kim and Michelle at Mile 25, we ran the last stretch in solidarity. A group of our classmates saluted us from the Cactus Club (it was 5 pm somewhere in the world) as we neared the finish line.
I'd liked to think that I didn't make too much of a fool out of myself running in this year's Boston Marathon. But if I did - at least it was for a great cause. I couldn't be prouder of the efforts of our INK Team and those who helped validate and affirm our good work through their support of the Invest in Kids Scholarship Fund.

No comments:

Post a Comment