I guess I need to do my part in recruiting some of you…
Below is a letter I wrote yesterday reflecting on the events of the past week. The letter is to the Boston 13.1 Team Up with Autism Speaks Team. If you are so moved, please consider either joining us on September 15th or passing this along.
The events of a week ago brought to our idyllic world certain realities no person should ever have to face. As a runner, a marathon runner, I felt like this attack was a personal one – as if the bomber had come into my house; into my safe space. Yes, Boston is my home, but the road, the race course, is where I find my peace.
What the two men did not realize is that the group of people they chose to attack was one that does not easily shy away from adversity. Whether it is the half-marathon or marathon distance, every distance runner has had to face obstacles and has ultimately overcome fear.
I witnessed firsthand last year at Boston 13.1 the emotion on so many faces as Team Up member after Team Up member approached and crossed the finish line – so many runners who had just months earlier never believed they could cover the distance in less than 3 1/2 hours. The tears of joy, the sense of triumph, the feeling of accomplishment were evident on every runner’s face.
This year, in light of last week’s events and with the continuing unfolding of events over the weekend, will feel different. How can it not? Here’s the thing – it’s just one more obstacle for us to overcome; and together, we will.
Your strength, your courage will carry you through to the finish and you will once again raise your arms in triumph.
But a race is not just about the runners. When you toe the line at Suffolk Downs this September, you will be doing so not just for yourself and not just for the people in your life affected by autism. It is true that Team Up with Autism Speaks is about fund raising for what we believe to be a wonderful cause, but you putting your foot at the starting line in September will also be a nod to all of the other people involved not only with Boston 13.1, but every race including the Boston Marathon itself. A footrace is about the runners, but it is also about the organizers, the volunteers, the security, and maybe most importantly, those that come out to cheer us on.
It is the spectators that take the experience of an endurance event to a whole new level, and it will be no different at Boston 13.1.
Come September you will not only be running for you, you will be running for everyone.
So here is my challenge to you – run Boston 13.1 this September for you and those in your life affected by autism, but to help show your appreciation for those that come to cheer on runners, not just at Boston 13.1 or the Boston Marathon, but at all races, go out an recruit one friend to join you this Fall as we show not just Boston, but the world just how strong endurance athletes are.
The events of the past week shook all of us. I will readily admit I was rattled to my very core; but I very quickly realized one thing – we WILL persevere; as those affected directly by autism, whether as autistic individuals ourselves or as parents, siblings, relatives, friends, teachers or specialists, we are all endurance athletes so to speak – perseverance is what we are, perseverance is what we do.
I look forward to seeing you in September,
Luau – Boston 13.1 Team Captain
Starting next week, Lara (Team Up Organizer Extraordinaire) will begin featuring the story of us, the runners of Team Up with Autism Speaks Boston 13.1. If you are so moved, please consider telling your story – who you are, why you run.
- Guaranteed Race Entry
- Team Up! with Autism Speaks Runners Tank or Long Sleeve Shirt, and an Autism Speaks hat or visor
- Private Team Celebration Dinner on September 14, 2013, at Logan Airport Hilton Hotel.
- Online fundraising page
- Team Up! Facebook Page
- Virtual Coaching by a certified running coach Fundraising Tips and Opportunities
- Dedicated Autism Speaks staff to answer questions you have and assist
- Race Day Cheering Section- TBA
- Post Race Team Tent
- Team Handbook – In a PDF format and downloadable for reference at any time
- AND if you are local, team runs with me starting in a couple of weeks!