the man with the red bandana

I ran the Red Bandana Run today at Boston College. It's been a goal and Beacon Street scared the bejesus out of me, but I did it. Our friend Marc got the same crew who ran the Corrib Run back in May back together for a little 5K round II. As an added bonus, I got to run alongside my baby cousin Kristen. Both of us were aiming to finish, with no expectation for time whatsoever though we each run about a 10 minute mile. I shaved some time off over the summer, but a hectic fall has cost me those gained seconds. We ran pace with each other the whole race, stopping once before the beacon incline to walk and once at the top because we couldn't feel our legs. I yelled to her "Lean into the hill, you can do this!" It may have been more for me. We met up with the kids on College Road and took them with us the remaining .3 to the finish. She gave up her strong finish to hold hands with my daughter and cross the finish line. Connor's little legs could run no more, so I scooped him onto my back and carried him over. It's an important race and not just because I conquered the beast that is Beacon street. I felt compelled to write and send the following to the family.

October 13, 2012


Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust
P.O. Box 780
Nyack, NY 10960-0780
Mr. and Mrs. Crowther and Family,
I’m not a runner. Last fall, my good friend Marc, BC 2000 and lax player, asked if I wanted to run the Red Bandana Run with him to honor his friend and teammate. Again, I’m not a runner, so I said that it sounded wonderful, but I’d never be able to do it. This past spring I trained for and ran a 5K with Marc. I continued to run over the summer with the intention of completing the Red Bandana Run this year. Today, I did just that and I know that I will continue to participate year after year.

I have long been aware of Welles’ story, years before ESPN aired their story. I think of him every year on September 11th and yet, I never met him. I’m not writing today just to thank you for this race, for the wonderful charitable work you do in honor of this exceptional young man, but to thank you for giving me a way to talk about the events that bright, sunny day in 2001 with my two young children. My daughter turned five this year. When she asked me why I was running another race, I told her that once upon a time there was a very brave boy who gave his own life to help others. I know that with each passing year she will become more aware and I will have to answer more difficult questions, questions that I know I will not be able to answer. I will always have Welles’ story to remind her that even in the face of the most terrible things, there are good people, strong in character and spirit who do the right thing and put others ahead of themselves. This year, we stopped our discussion at the assertion that you don’t have to have super powers to be a hero.
Much thanks… see you next fall.


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