Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Joy of Support Crew

As an alumni of the 2009 Spaulding Rehab's Race for Rehab Team, we get invited to be part of support crew for the last long run of the season.

Everything was provided by Marathon Sports and New Balance. We just needed to show up with #morecowbell and our smiles and support for the runners. In addition to the Race for Rehab team, hundreds of runners took to the course to do their last long run before April 21st, Marathon Monday.

My guess is I won't run another marathon but I get exhilarated being able to cheer and support the runners as they dig deep experiencing the marathon course one last time before the big day; for many it was the first time they ran 21 miles.

I have a deep sense of contentment that I once ran the Boston Marathon and can now impart my wisdom, my enthusiasm, and my inspiration to this next generation of runners.

The weather was brutal. Our last long run in 2009 was in 17 degree temperatures. This year's marathoners had to run in cold, wet snow; a fitting culmination of a brutal winter training season.

I was amazed at my own endurance to be outside cheering on the runners. Of course, unlike the runners, I had the chance to go into Marathon Sports Brookline, sit down and warm up in between the packs of runners coming down Beacon Street after having conquered Heartbreak Hill from Natick.

It's a magical time in the city of Boston. The snow is melting and we saw the beginning of flowers poking their little heads through the mud. The banners have been unveiled and are lining the streets of Boston.

As Mayor Walsh said, "They are a symbol of hope and joy and now more than ever strength and resilience."

The Race for Rehab team runs so that patients at Spaulding can Find Their Strength.

They along with all the runners training for Boston demonstrated incredible strength and resilience running 21 miles through the cold, wet snow. What a delight and joy to be able to be a part of support crew with hugs and smiles to help them journey well. Here are a few of the triumphant photos as they approach Spaulding Rehab, the final stop on yesterday's run:

No matter the weather, no matter the challenge, with love and cowbell along the way, we can journey well!

My latest book, "Journey Well" is now available on Amazon along with all of my inspirational books. 50% of book proceeds are donated to the Massachusetts Resiliency Center, a safe, welcoming space for survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing to heal and stay in touch with one another; a virtual hub for a widely dispersed community whose lives have been impacted by the tragic events of April 15th and the events that followed.

When terror struck the world's oldest and most beloved marathon on April 15, 2013, it was a defining moment in Mary McManus’ life and the lives of all those in Boston and around the world. It was her wake up call to return to the sport and community that have been medicine and a lifeline for her throughout her marathon of healing the late effects of paralytic polio and experiencing 9 years of domestic violence as a child and adolescent. Mary captures the essence of Boston Strong through her experience of the 2014 Boston Marathon and as she profiles the people who are Boston Stronger. Through her blog posts, poems and journal entries woven together with excerpts from her memoir, “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility,” you will experience, through one woman’s journey of transformation and healing, that no matter what happens to us, we can all learn to journey well.

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