The majority of our 2014 Running for Rare Diseases Boston Marathon Team ran from the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton through mile 21 near Boston College on Saturday. It was the last long training run of the season – and the first of our major events linking our runners, patient partners, employees, our families and friends.
Saturday’s run was called the Charity Run, and our team was among more than 25 charities that participated. Those familiar with the marathon know that for many charity runners, running 21 miles does not come easy for them – they do it for the love and in support of the charities (and people) they’re running for. Our team is a mixture of avid runners and first timers who took up running because they were inspired to join this team.
And Saturday’s run was the first time multiple patient partners, employees, family and friends joined together to cheer our team on. We had teams of supporters who leap-frogged to staff multiple water stops along the route. Many runners said the ‘sea of green’ (we were wearing green Rare Disease Day and Genzyme t-shirts) was a welcome, invigorating site for them as they ran.
For some, this was their longest run ever. So the cheering, hugs and words of encouragement from our patient partners and all the supporters along the way helped to remind them not only that they really could run a marathon – but that this is what it’s all about. It’s about building communities, uniting rare disease patients and employees, our families and friends, and raising awareness (and funds) for rare diseases. I couldn’t be more proud to be part of this active, dedicated community, and can’t wait to see all of these folks and others at our upcoming events – especially at Mile 14 on Marathon Monday!