This past Saturday, Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge hosted a first timers meeting for all of us new to the team. The night before, I had the Santa Claus Anonymous Snowball and was dancing until the wee hours of the morning. I won't lie, waking up and getting out of the hotel room door to head over to the meeting was hard and I much would have stayed in bed. That is, until I walked in the door.
For those that have never been to Dana-Farber, first count yourself lucky, but second realize how amazing of a place it is. Every hallway, every elevator, and every room is named after donors that have helped financially to make this place exist. The amount of people treated here plus the medicinal advancements that are spread throughout the country are awe-inspiring. Meandering through the hallways, a few teammates and I found the conference room the meeting was being held in. As we got our nametags, there was a city listed at the bottom. At first I thought they got my work address and home address mixed up as my city was Framingham. Shortly thereafter, I realized they had set up all the towns that the marathon runs through.
For those that know my bike route, I usually go out to Natick or Framingham and ride back home along the course. Seeing the town names I have grown to love and know incredibly well was inspiring. During training runs, I will now picture passing through Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline and finally Boston to the finish. Aptly enough, I walked by the finish from last year on my way to a party Thursday night. All I could do was smile and realize that in a few short months the freshly painted one will be my finish line.
Once assembled in our groups, we had to answer three questions which included the famous why we run question. By now almost everyone knows why I run (and if you don't, read my first entry), but I did not know others. Let me tell you I was choking back tears listening to those talk about losing parents at young ages, losing siblings and watching loved ones go through treatment. As I said starting this thing, cancer does not discriminate and 1 in 3 will be a victim in their lifetime. It was proof as over 50 of us talked about how cancer has affected our lives.
I left the meeting once again inspired to try and fundraise as much as possible to help put an end to this ugly disease.