Saturday, April 6, 2013

BOSTON 2013. Almost here......................

Mile Markers for Boston 2013

I plan on focusing my mental energy on race day to 27 different people or groups of people for each mile (and final 0.2 of a mile) of the Boston Marathon.

MOST of these people are POSITIVE influences in my life.  The people who have supported, encouraged, and followed my journey these last 5 years of my life. 

A couple of these people could have been NEGATIVE influences if I let that happen.   I will think about how they have come into my life and what I did to turn that energy around and use it to make me stronger.  You can’t spend your life letting people come into your life and let them affect you by something they said, or did to you. 

I would have to say that there are PLENTY more than 27 individuals, so though many will be specific people, some will be groups of people.   I wished I had thought about this list 27 days prior to the race, but it’s certainly better late than never.  And of course, if you didn't get named, please know, if at any time you wished me well and sent me an encouraging message, I appreciated it all from the bottom of my heart.

  1. SUE. My partner, my rock, my love.  I am absolutely sure I would not be this healthy and alive today if it had not been for you.
  2. Team Hoyt.  Watching the video of the two of you finishing the Ironman World Championships gave me the push to complete my first triathlon in 2009.  Also include Kathy, Bryan and Todd in here as well.
  3.  Pingree School.  I don't think I could be working each day in a more supportive environment.  All of you at the school have helped and encouraged me.  Pingree parents (e.g. Trish C) have been supportive as well.  Thanks for allowing me work with such AMAZING kids each and every day.
  4.  Former students from Norwood, ON, Canada  (Lisa, Antine, Lana, Karen, et al).  There are plenty more of you around as well.  I love keeping in touch with all of you as you raise your respective families.  Thanks for keeping in touch.
  5. Mom.  I came into your life when I was 2 weeks old.  I am the man I am today all because of you.  Thanks for choosing me and loving me.
  6. Kelly (blogger).  You could have brought me down, but I did not allow it.  It's too bad people in this world still think it's OK to dehumanize people of short stature.  When my body starts to hurt on April 15th, I will think of CRUSHING your spirit.
  7. Jim Logan.  I would never have RUN if it was not for you.  "Walk if you must" is what you said. Look at me know!  This world lost a special man when you left us far too early.
  8.  Leslie Battle.  We did a couple of races together and have both transformed our bodies these last few years.  I love your honest and direct view of life.  Never stop being YOU!
  9. Peggy Curran Grimes and Sandi Stephenson.  Two of my closest online triathlon friends.  We have never met in person and yet I know I can count on encouragement from the both of you almost every day.  Of course, there are countless more online friends through facebook and twitter.  I thank ALL OF YOU!
  10. Comprehensive Racing.  Nancy Thomson introduced me to this great group of triathletes.  I kept going after my first race because of the encouragement I got from Kurt, Jen, Patrick, Kosmo and the rest of a SUPER team.
  11. Salem, MA, especially the people at the SALEM YMCA.  Bill, Chop, John, Rich, Charity, et all.  The Y is a great place to be and workout in an environment where we are there just doing our best to be healthiest.
  12. Countless Triathlon Race directors.  It all started with the Mill City Triathlon.  You could have tried to deny me the change to race based upon your pre-conceived ideas of what a triathlete should look like.  You allowed me to race and that's what got me started.  Thanks Wendy, Mark, Kat, John K, et al.
  13. CAF and Achilles International.  What a terrific group of athletes, guides and supporters.  You all understand how important it is for physically challenged athletes to have the same opportunites as able-bodied athletes.
  14. My siblings (Bonnie, Wendy, Sharon, and Ed.  You helped me become the man I am today.  Because of my sisters I learned to respect and view women as equals.  Because of Eddy I learned to stand up for myself and not let bullies push me around.
  15. Katie Lynch.  I never met you but learned through countless others that you were strong-willed and head strong.  I only hope I have half the will and drive that you displayed each and every day of your life. As an LP, you led the way to make sure there were opportunities for people with physical challenges to take part in physical activities and sports.
  16. Jim Hutton at NSS.  My 9th grade P.E. teacher.  You treated me like all other 9th grade boys.  I was never allowed to take it easy in class.  All you ever cared about was that young people gave 100%.  Because of you I learned to never give up.  "DO OR DO NOT, THERE IS NO TRY!"
  17. Gus Ryder.  You coached Marilyn Bell, the first person to swim across Lake Ontario.  I was lucky enough to learn how to swim at your pool in Mimico, Toronto.  
  18. Marilyn Fennell.  My kindergarten and 1st grade teacher.  We are still friends to this day and both you and Fred are Owen's honorary grand-parents.  You made sure I was permitted to attend public school in 1970.  
  19. My nephews and nieces; Dawn, Cheryl, Sara, Julie, Tara, Megan, Mike, Mark, and Shane.  I love each one of you with all my heart and loved watching each of you become amazing people.
  20. Ken Skier and Ben Berry.  Both of you have an online presence always viewing life from the positive.  You run (race) to live and live to run (race) in perfect harmony.  I hope we have many more races together.
  21. Bruce and Nathalie Casey (in-laws).  Along with Tim and David, you helped Sue become the beautiful woman I married almost 18 years ago.  
  22. Other LP friends and their families.  Way too many to list them here.  Don't let others set your limits!  EVER!!
  23. PARA-PROMOTIONS.  Jan Ditchfield.  Your VISION of how the world should view para-athletes will be life-changing for MANY.
  24. My birth parents and their families. You made the decision 47 years ago to allow a beautiful woman and her family to raise me as their own.  Thank-you for loving me as well.  
  25. Camera cars.  Taking pics of me because you think I'm "funny looking"?  GROW UP!  You only make me stronger.
  26. Kelly Williamson, Simon Whitfield, Chrissy Wellington and other Pro triathletes.  Many of you have encouraged and helped me along the way.  What a GREAT SPORT!!
  27. OWEN.  (Really 26.2) My son, my buddy, my greatest achievement ever.   You make me so proud each and every day.   I love you with all my heart
  28. Almost forgot one more group.  Friends from St Peters prayed for me after injury and have always been there for me. God bless you!


  1. Have a great run and an excellent time, on & off the course. Savour every moment. From Prince Edward Island, Canada, we'll be watching, cheering, and appreciating the ever increasing diversity of the Boston Marathon. Have a`wonderful experience!
    -jypsy and Alex

  2. Congrats John! Was pleased to have the opportunity to shake your hand and wish you well this year and to have gotten to know you a bit on twitter since my first comment here. Lets plan a coffee or something next year!