By Eric Kaye
If you were living under a rock this winter… that is, a rock buried by seven feet of snow like most people around Boston, here is what you might have missed. The Patriots won the Super Bowl, Zayn Malik left One Direction, and Boston set an all-time record for snowfall. Also, somewhere hidden behind the snow banks that narrowed the city sidewalks, runners were training for the Boston Marathon.
This is my 8th year repeating a ritual march from Hopkinton to Boston on the third Monday in April. All eight Boston Marathons run the only way I know how — with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team.
As a 22-year-old working in the Development Office at Dana-Farber, I ran my first Boston Marathon in memory of my dad, Harvey Kaye. A few years later in 2010, right before the Boston Marathon, I wrote my first blog post for Dana-Farber about my motivation to keep running and raising money for cancer research in my father’s memory.
I wrote about what it was like to see my dad healthy one weekend and then suddenly sick a week later. And just as clearly as I remember the day my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, I can vividly recall the surroundings, time of day, and the table outside a Brookline Village café where I learned my sister, Blair, had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In the months that followed, my lunch breaks were spent on the 10th floor of the Yawkey Center where Blair was being treated at Dana-Farber.
If you were living under a rock this winter you might have missed the DFMC runners who hugged, high-fived, and helped each other through many below-freezing mornings. I could tell you all about what it was like for us to train for the marathon through this record-setting winter. And I could just as quickly bore you with the details. More than the winter weather, though, what stands out for me is the inspiration and dedication that my DFMC teammates have. It takes some special motivation to get out of bed early on a Saturday morning in February for a long run. Each weekend they offered so much more than that.
Tomorrow morning, I will be running the BAA 5K with my sister and my inspiration, Blair, who is now three years cancer-free. Then, just two days later, the teammates who inspire me each and every year will help me through another long run — this time in ideal spring running weather. If you didn’t have a chance to see all these Dana-Farber runners during the winter, here’s your chance to cheer us on. Because hearing “Go Dana-Farber,” or “Thank you Dana-Farber” means so much when we are running by.