There is a spot on the Boston Marathon route called “The Liver Mile.” It’s where the grind begins, where the storied course starts to tests runners and where legs often weary from pounding 16.8 miles of punishing roads.
Yet, it’s also where 21-year-old Tom Williams, a liver transplant recipient from Dracut, Massachusetts, first fell in love with the idea of running the Boston Marathon.
“I wasn’t thinking about the difficulty of it,” he says. “I was just thinking, I want to run for other people who are sick.”
Located in front of Newton-Wellesley Hospital, “The Liver Mile” is where volunteers hand out water and gather in support of the Run for Research team, which raises money to benefit the American Liver Foundation. For years, while someone else ran for him as part of the patient-partner program, Tom was a spectator on the sidelines. …
When I tell people I’m running the Boston Marathon as part of the Boston Children’s Hospital Miles for Miracles team, the standard reaction is the same. “I could never run 26.2 miles.” My response never varies. “Yes, you can … with the right training, anyone can do it.” My kids can’t give up when they don’t feel like doing something, and neither can I. ~ Lance
My feet ache. I’m often exhausted. I’m hungry all the time. And committing to a long run every Saturday — rain, snow or shine — isn’t always fun. But my efforts pale in comparison to what drives so many others on this team. There’s Lance, a non-runner channelling his children’s determination. And Hazel, a Boston Children’s operations manager and one of the fiercest runners I’ve ever met. And Melissa, a quiet presence, shouldering constant, unimaginable grief.
There’s no way I can acknowledge every single person who has been — and will be — part of this journey, so I’m approaching it the same way I think about the marathon … in 5-mile increments. …
From marathon volunteer to injury prevention pioneer—it’s all part of Dr. Lyle Micheli’s mission to keep runners and athletes of all types on the field.
Sore quads. That’s one of Lyle Micheli’s memories from the 1975 Boston Marathon. But Dr. Micheli, Director of Boston Children’s Sports Medicine, wasn’t sore from running. As a medical volunteer at what was a “very informal” event in 1975, Micheli spent the day ducking and “limboing” under the ropes marking the last feet of the 26.2-mile run and making sure the athletes were OK to proceed beyond the finish area.
Since that day, running has gained tremendous popularity. The Boston Marathon has increased from a mere 1,000 runners in 1975 to 30,000 in 2015. Micheli has been at the finish line year after year as a way to give back to his beloved city and the historic race.
The medical tent has matured from an informal crew stocked with Bands-Aids, beef stew and water to a highly sophisticated organization, comprised of multiple teams of medical professionals with designated assignments.
Still, nothing prepared Micheli and other volunteers for 2013. “We weren’t equipped with life-saving equipment.” Forty years earlier, as a member of the U.S. Air Force, Micheli had received evacuation training. It kicked in—he jerry-rigged a tourniquet from a runner’s jacket and triaged injured spectators.
Micheli will be on hand at the finish line again in 2015. While his primary motivation is community service, Micheli and Boston Children’s Sports Medicine staff and patients reap plenty of benefits from their commitment to the race. “We encourage all of our fellows to attend. It’s a model for mass casualty training.” Plus, the doctors learn by observing elite athletes.
This year’s 118th Boston Marathon represents many different things to the thousands of participants who will run 26.2 miles from Hopkinton, Mass. to Boston’s Copley Square. For some, it will offer closure—an opportunity to put the tragedy of last year’s events behind them. For others, it represents a new start—a chance to embark on a new path, inspired by those who have run before them.
Among those competing are several Boston Children’s Hospital employees, each with his or her own reasons for running…
“I’m running this year to complete my 3-year-goal of running a marathon, qualifying for the Boston Marathon and then running with the best runners in the world.”
Scott Glynn, Access Control Administrator, Security
“I’m running for two reasons: to finish what I started last year and to push my own ability.”
Lauren Codd, MBA, Executive Assistant, Quality Program Department of Medicine