The Samaritans 2019 Boston Marathon team is off to a record-breaking start, with more than $100,000 raised toward our team goal of $160,000 and 88 days to go! The 13 dedicated runners on this team are loss survivors, volunteers, and folks who have benefited from our programs and services. Each month leading up to the big day, we’ll be highlighting members of our outstanding team. This month, Sarah, Erin B., Tatiana, and Delaney share how they’re preparing for the 2019 Boston Marathon.
What does your training schedule looked like?
Sarah Boylan: I am beginning to crank up my training in the recent weeks. I ran the NYC marathon this fall, so I had a pretty solid base. Boston will be my 5th marathon so I am used to the training demands. However, I haven’t trained for a marathon this early in the spring. Just today, I went out for a six-mile run before work. Not only was it dark when I headed out, but it also was very icy. I understand why training for Boston is so challenging – the winter weather doesn’t quit here in New England!
Tatiana Bujnoch: In general, I run three days a week, usually Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Sometimes, I adjust my weekend long run depending on my schedule. I try to cross-train, usually spin, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and add in strengthening and stretching and rolling. The most difficult run so far was probably my first ten-miler I did when I got back to Boston after being in the warmer Texas weather for about a month. I definitely had to get readjusted to the cold!
Delaney Callaghan: My training has basically consisted of a long run on Sundays and then two to three shorter runs throughout the week. Every Sunday, I try to increase mileage by about two miles. Although the runs are difficult, especially in the colder weather, I have enjoyed listening to podcasts and music to get me through! Also, during each run, I think about why I am running, why Samaritans, and who I am running for, and these thoughts make the runs worth it.
Erin Brooks: I’ve been following along the Heartbreak Hill beginner marathon plan as well as virtually training with my teammates through the Furey training program, since I recently moved to Denver, Colorado. I use both as a baseline to plan my runs each week. It typically consists of two to three shorter runs and a long run on the weekends (increasing mileage each week). I also incorporate strength training, hill training, and yoga to keep my body strong. I feel like I have a good pace and route that I enjoy. However, the first long run after the holidays was rough. I tried to stick to my plan over Christmas but I was also soaking up time with my family as much as I could. When I went out to run eight miles after indulging for a week, my body was struggling. I ended up turning around after two miles and pushed off the long run until the next day when I would be better rested.
What sort of community have you built with other folks participating the Marathon?
Delaney: I have made many friends through my volunteer work at Samaritans and have loved getting to know the people I work with. A few of my good friends who run cross country with me — Grace, Will, and Lev — are also running the Marathon with other organizations so it has been great to discuss training and to have them by my side. My dad is running the Marathon as well. He has run Boston in the past, so he is helpful with his training tips and we occasionally will go on runs together!
Erin: Training in Colorado has been a slight challenge I’ve had to overcome in order to build a community with other people who are training for the marathon. While my Samaritans teammates have the advantage of training together through the Furey program, I’ve had to get creative and do some digging to find similar groups that would help me train throughout this journey. Fortunately, I found a great running group that hosts long runs up to 20 miles each weekend as well as shorter workouts throughout the week. Additionally, I’ve started working out with November Project Denver which is a free fitness group that meets twice a week. They’re a group of fun, energetic, like-minded individuals who love to run and be outside. They are known for being “weather proof” — no matter how cold it gets, they’re outside training. Aside from those organized groups, I’ve recruited my friends and coworkers (sometimes against their will!) to run with me too. It’s always nice to have a running buddy or buddies, especially for those long runs. I heavily lean on these communities for support, both emotional and physical, and I’m incredibly luckily to be surrounded by such great individuals.
Sarah: Unfortunately, because I live in New Hampshire and work on Saturday mornings, I am unable to attend the training runs with the group. I met everyone on the team twice before and they all seem like incredible people. I feel like I am in good company on the team!
Tatiana: I feel like I haven’t really made a strong community yet with everyone as I was on my winter break and in Texas for the past month and a half. I am looking forward to joining in more with everyone and building a stronger community.
How have your family and friends reacted to the news about your running?
Tatiana: I was not expecting all of the wonderful and incredible support I have received since starting this whole process. Everyone is supportive and behind my cause 100%. It has allowed for great conversations to be started with friends and family that I don’t think would have happened without me pursuing this cause. My friends and family keep pushing me to train and fundraise, even when I am feeling tired and overwhelmed. I feel like I am running for them just as much as for myself and Samaritans. I know I would not be able to do this without everyone behind me.
Delaney: My friends and family have been super encouraging of my running and really supportive of this great organization. Some of them have learned about Samaritans through my running the Marathon, and I am really happy to have helped raise awareness of a cause so important to so many.
Sarah: My friends and family have been very supportive and many of them are excited about coming to cheer me on in April. I have had several of my colleagues comment on seeing me out running and ask how it has been going. I am thrilled to be supporting such an incredible cause. As a teacher, I have connected the school with Samaritans – our boys’ varsity hockey team is dedicating their annual charity game to Samaritans. In addition, the Mental Illness Awareness club at school is working with the hockey team to raise money for the cause and start a dialogue amongst the student body about suicide and mental illness.
Erin: I have had an overwhelming amount of positive reactions to the news about me running the marathon. In terms of fundraising, friends, family, acquaintances and sometimes complete strangers, have made donations to support my efforts. It’s heartwarming and amazing to see how generous people can be in support of a cause that is so close to my heart. On the actual running side, I’d say my friends and family were definitely shocked (in a good way) at first. I’ve never been a “runner” and only completed my first half marathon a month before I was accepted to run on the Samaritans’ team. They have all the confidence in the world in me because they know this marathon goes beyond crossing the finishing line, it is about honoring my dad and others we have lost to suicide. People know my dad will be with me throughout my training and during the marathon, guiding me to the end.
How are you feeling with less than 100 days to go until the 2019 Boston Marathon?
Erin: I am feeling so many emotions – most of them positive but some nerves thrown in there too. I’m feeling confident in my training plan and my body’s ability to complete each workout. My runs, both long and short, have felt good and I’m seeing myself get faster, which I owe in part to the altitude in the Mile High City. I have a half marathon coming up so I’m looking forward to experiencing race mode as I count down the days to THE race. Again, with less than 100 days left, I remain grateful to my supporters and Samaritans for giving me this opportunity. It’s been an honor to raise awareness for such an important cause in a meaningful way.
Delaney: I am feeling very excited with less than 100 days to go! So far, the training has been great, and I feel that I am making great progress. More importantly, I feel so grateful to all the people who have supported me and helped me reach my fundraising goal. Really looking forward to April 15th!
Tatiana: I am excited! Time is flying and I know the big day will be here sooner than I realize, but I feel ready to take on the challenge and know I will be prepared for 26.2 miles on April 15th!
Sarah: I know that I will feel prepared on April 15th. I grew up on the north shore so the city has a significant place in my heart. I am so excited to experience Marathon Monday!
To support the 2019 Marathon team and learn more about each runner’s story, please visit our team’s CrowdRise page.
Leading up to the big day, the runners are hosting a number of fundraisers which can be found on the Upcoming Events section of our homepage.