Back to Back Boston

April 21, 2015

markcheese“I will be running the Boston Marathon in April 2015 at the age of 50.”

That was my quote in my very first Boston or Bust 2015 blog back in November 2011.   I had run one marathon and had the bug to do another.  I wanted to do something BIG for my 50th.  And then along the way some terrorists reignited my passion to run Boston.  And then another thing happened; I got inspired in a whole new way being selected to joint the Melanoma Foundation of New England Running for Cover Boston Marathon team.  Back to Back Boston’s in 2014 and 2015.

The person in the picture with me during this year’s race at mile 17 is Mark Buckley.  He was matched with me this year as part of the Melanoma Foundation of New England’s (MFNE; www.mfne.org) Patient Match program.  Mark is fighting (and winning) Stage IV Melanoma.  And to see him at this point in the race wearing the cheesehead I had given him was just wicked awesome!  (Note: he says he got lots of strange comments from his fellow Pats fan runners passing by.  I can only imagine.)

I’ve learned many things along the way leading up to running this year’s Boston Marathon at age 50.  Most have been tips on training and running marathons and such.  But I have to say the highlight of these past two years has been my involvement with the MFNE and most recently making this new Boston friend and seeing him beat this disease.  On the Friday before heading up to Boston he texted me about a CT scan  and they said they had found a spot on his brain.  Needless to say, that is usually not good.  But today, he texted me the good news; the lesions on his brain were just prominent blood vessels in the scan.  And the tumor in his abdomen had shrunk another 24%.  I couldn’t be happier for Mark.  We’re going golfing this fall!

This year’s race was cold, rainy and windy.  I cramped like I’ve never cramped before.  But I was able to run with my running “guru” from my neighborhood – Patrice Combs.  She put up with my kind of pace (hers is like several minutes per mile faster) and my cramping.  And we finished together at the exact same time of 4:15:18.

I’ll probably be running Boston again and will most certainly be continuing to support the Melanoma Foundation of New England.  I want to thank each and every person who donated to this great cause.  I raised $17,287 this year and the team as a whole raised $362,347!  I’m so thankful to all of my friends, family and business sponsors equimedia and Orange Theory Fitness Alpharetta.

No more miles to go.  It’s the end of this goal and the end of this blog.  On to the next goal (just have to figure out what that is)…

Sincerely,

BOB (Paul)