by Marna Meltzer McMorris
A picture is not worth a thousand words. This final “high five” as I made my way down Boylston represents so much more. The simple explanation is that I ran the Boston Marathon to raise funds and awareness for Autism through the New England Center for Children (NECC) where our son is a student. The deeper explanation is that I did it to show him and everyone that nothing is impossible. With focus, determination and drive you can achieve anything.
My journey to Boston consisted of a few leaps of faith rather than a continuous path. I had previous running experience, but had been struggling with a complicated injury and I stopped running entirely for two years as a result. I took my first leap on a new treatment plan. It worked. I started walking and when I got strong enough, I started run intervals, and then graduated to full runs. The 2018 Steel Rail Half Marathon was my next leap and my litmus test: Could I really run again? The answer was yes. With that, my husband created a formal training plan and I signed up for a circuit of local races. I raced through the summer and successfully ended the season with the Mohawk Hudson Half. Then our son sent me the announcement that NECC was looking to build the 2019 team. “Mom, you have to do this!” I asked him why. “Aren’t you the one who always says I can do anything?” After that, there was no looking back.
Over the course of 6 months I ran over 550 miles and raised $12,700 dollars for Autism research. I did not do this alone. I had an expert coach, an amazing team and the support of family and friends in every aspect of this process, from fundraising to training and I cannot thank them enough. Everyone was with me that morning in Hopkinton when I crossed the start line and they were there when I finished and they were in that moment, that high five moment that I shared with my husband and son.