Thursday, February 16, 2017

Going the Distance: #tbt A Triumphant Return to Camp Hyannis

From "Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance":

After crossing the finish line of my first half marathon, I came into the ballroom at the Hyannis Resort and Conference Center filled with thousands of runners. Frank Shorter made sure he connected with me amidst the runners celebrating after the race. He could tell that the run had taken a lot of out of me. I was shivering from the sleet that had started falling during the last several miles of the race. He put both of his hands on either side of my arms, looked at me straight in the eye and told me how much courage and strength I had to do what I had just done. He told me he had no doubt that I was going to cross the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon. He told me to hydrate, get some hot soup and take a hot shower. He signed the back of my bib. Frank had seen me as a survivor of paralytic polio who came out of a wheelchair and leg brace to take on the Boston Marathon. I saw him through the starry eyes of a novice runner meeting an Olympic Gold Medalist and an elite runner in every sense of the word.

When I saw Frank again in 2010 at Hyannis, I brought my bib from my Boston Marathon run for him and Bill Rodgers to sign. Frank Shorter signed it: “To Mary, You're unbelievable”

After the incredibly challenging Bermuda Half Marathon, I knew that I was not going to do a repeat performance of the Hyannis 10K this year. Team McManus debated back and forth about whether or not we were going to go Hyannis Marathon Weekend this year. Frank Shorter was going to be there again. Camp Hyannis is such a special weekend in February. It's where we have met so many running greats. Last year I was blessed to meet Jacqueline Hansen. She wrote the Foreword to my book. I share the story of when she came out on the race course to give me a hug and whisper in my ear, "Run with all your heart."

Tom turns 65 on March 2nd and we celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary on March 4th (40 years of being together). We decided that if there was a room at the Hyannis Resort and Conference Center, it was a sign we should go and Tom would run the Half Marathon at his race pace. There was a room and Tom is registered!

A week from Saturday Team McManus has a triumphant return to Camp Hyannis. Race Director Paul Collyer told me that there was availability of a table at the Expo where I can share my story to inspire runners and sign and sell copies of Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance.

Why triumphant you might ask? After 10 years of being on a quest to heal the effects from paralytic polio and trauma, I have positive momentum. In January I did something I have never done before - run two consecutive endurance events: The Bermuda Half Marathon in 2016 and 2017. While at the end of a long, challenging day I am sore and tired like everyone else, I am resilient and recover quickly.

It will be emotional for me to see Frank Shorter again who I have not seen since he signed my bib in 2010. Here I am at a table at the Expo still very much a patient at Spaulding Rehab and stuck in my health and wellness journey despite having run the 2009 Boston Marathon.

It's always a joy to see Boston Billy. I will give signed copies of my book to both Frank and Bill. They each played a critical role in my running journey and are an integral part of my going the distance.

It's hard to believe that it's been 8 years since I first experienced the wonder and magic of the Hyannis Marathon Weekend.

I am excited and looking forward to celebrating Tom's 65th birthday with his Half Marathon run and our 40 years of being Team McManus. We'll also be celebrating the miracle of healing in my life that has taken me from a leg brace and a wheelchair to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond!

To your health and wellness,

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