Meet the Samaritans 2019 Marathon Team (Part 2)

The Samaritans 2019 Boston Marathon team is off to a record-breaking start, with more than $122,000 raised toward our team goal of $160,000 and 60 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, Callahan and Joy share how they’re preparing for the 2019 Boston Marathon.

What does your training schedule looked like?

Joy: I run daily – no days off for me. I have a run streak going since March 28, 2017 where I have run at least one mile outside every day. As of writing this, I have completed 688 days of my streak. But not all of my runs have the same goal. I run a long run on the weekend, two days of hill work, one day of speed work, one day of a mid-length run, and the rest are easy, social runs. Sometimes, I run twice a day to make sure to meet my goals. I enjoy each of my runs for different reasons but a recent memorable run was a short 5 km run during the super cold weather (it was -18 degrees wind chill when I went running) and it seemed I put on all of my running clothing to keep warm. I was glad to get that run done.

Callahan: Even though I’ve run the marathon before, it’s still always a shock how much time training takes! I’m running four times a week, typically Monday/Wednesday/Thursday/Saturday, with Saturday being the longest of the runs. This past weekend I completed my longest run of the training program, 18 miles, and besides the wind, it was a great day! I don’t think one run has been the most memorable. Honestly, I think I forget most of them after I’m finished with them to start focusing on the next one! However, participating in the John Furey program is amazing. It’s so nice to know that on Wednesday nights there will be other people running hills, and on Saturday, there will be a ton of people on the course motivating you to keep pushing forward.

What sort of community have you built with other folks participating the Marathon?

Joy: I love community running. Having a running partner or group motivates me to maintain my goals and passes the time. I belong to several run clubs. I run with Forest Hills Runners (out of Jamaica Plan) twice a week, Marathon Sports – Boston once a week, Tracksmith once a week, Furey Charity Group once or twice a week, my school’s DreamFar (a program that helps students run the Providence Marathon) chapter once and while, coworkers once a week, and alone when my schedule doesn’t match up with my run clubs. Each group provides different support and guidance about how to train and prepare for the Boston Marathon, the greatest race in the world. There are people from each group that are training for a marathon and several are running Boston too; it is great to talk about training with them.

Callahan: Generally speaking, it’s so nice to see the same faces at the training runs through the Furey program each week, it’s nice to know you’re not in this alone.

How have your family and friends reacted to the news about your running?

Joy: My mother, the greatest runner supporter and cheerer, is excited to ring her cowbells and cheer on everyone. My uncle, a retired Boston Marathoner, says he has passed the torch to me to run Boston. My friends and family have been extremely supportive in my running, training, and fundraising to help my dream a reality.

Callahan: With this being my third straight year running Boston, my friends and family have been beyond supportive! I’ve been absolutely blown away by the continuous love, support, and generosity I’ve received. They’ve helped me blow my original fundraising goal out of the water and continue to be there for me day in and day out. Whether it’s an early wake-up call to make sure I get a run in before work or volunteering to stay in and watch movies with me on a Saturday night to rest my sore legs – they do it all! I’ve been blessed with an amazing support system, and it’s even more meaningful this year, as I run the marathon in memory of my brother Kevin. I’m eternally grateful and wouldn’t be able to do any of this without them!

How are you feeling with 60 days to go until the 2019 Boston Marathon?

Joy: I can’t believe there are less than 10 weeks left in training! The race day seems so close and my goals are to stay healthy and injury-free until April 15 (and beyond) and maintain my run streak. As we get closer each week, I debate – is it too early to start checking the weather?

Callahan: It’s crazy to think that the actual marathon is just over two months away, eeek! It’s exciting and nerve-racking all at once, but more so exciting! Training is physically and mentally exhausting, but there is no cause that I’d rather do this for than supporting Samaritans, so I’m keeping my eye on the finish line and focusing on keeping my brother’s memory alive while raising awareness. I know April 15th will be here before I know it, so I’ll keep lacing my shoes up and hitting the pavement in hope to erase the stigmas that surround mental health and suicide!

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.