Orin's Marathon

Orin ran the Boston Marathon yesterday.  Here's his "Before" and "After." 

Hi Match Friends,

I'm writing to you about two milestones:

1. This is my first ever "pitch" to ask a group of work friends to make a donation to a good cause.

2. I'm about to run my first ever marathon.

Let me explain both.

Just a few days ago, I was offered a chance to run in the Boston Marathon next Monday. Legit number. Not a bandit or running behind the street sweepers at 5pm (though they might be right on my heels). I got the number through an opportunity to raise a little money for a fantastic non-profit called College Bound Dorchester, where I'm on the board. CBD provides an array of critical educational programming in the Bowdoin-Geneva community of Dorchester, not far from where I live.

I haven't exactly trained for this marathon. But I swear this is not just a random midlife crisis type move. And even if it was, it's more productive than buying a Corvette or something (though my scratched up mini-van is not exactly the epitome of "cool"). I do actually run quite a bit, and I did a half-marathon in the fall and felt fine.

And there are some other reasons why I feel motivated to run this year. 

Not a day goes by when I don't think about what happened one year ago at the Boston Marathon. I live just a few houses up the street from the Richard family. My kids have played with their kids. Martin Richard's death last year was the first time I had to try to explain to my own children how tragic and random life can be. And as my family has watched the Richards find a way to move on with their lives and remain so positive, we've also had many occasions to talk about how strong and forgiving we can be.

But I'm also running for the College Bound families, many of whom confront trauma every day, yet still remain hopeful and focused on bettering themselves through what we all know is the one great equalizer: education.

So if you can donate a few bucks, click here.

I'm also accepting orange slices and tiny sips of Gatorade at various locales between Hopkinton and Boylston St. (Note that these things are not mutually exclusive.)

Many thanks,


And here is Orin, post-race. 

I'm alive! And well, even.

Had an amazing experience yesterday on so many levels.

For starters, coming from the basketball world that I live in, I was shocked to be involved in a sporting event where the fans only yelled positive stuff. No team loyalties that cause people to root against something. Everyone out there is gunning for you to finish. Compared to the front of the pack in this race, I was like a middle school kid who gets to play on the Garden floor in one of those scrappy, error-filled 10 minute basketball games that they sometimes feature at halftime. Yet everyone still cheered for me.

Related point, I simply can't imagine what I might do again that will cause thousands of people to cheer at once. In this case, my running partner Mark Culliton and I still had enough left in the tank to whip up what was left of the Boylston St crowd in the last 0.2 miles. We ran the last stretch with our arms raised and managed to get a great reaction from the fans. No crowds like that in a Monday night basketball league. I also enjoyed riling up the drunk BC kids. I channeled my memories of similar "Go Badgers" moments and instead screamed lots of "Go Eagles" with hard high-fives, all to great effect.

The course is also an incredible visual sociology of Greater Boston. That started to hit home as the yellow school bus that I was in drove all the way to that part of the Pike where trees are more plentiful than man-made structures. (Of course that was also when the thought that "holy crap, I have to run all the way back home" started to hit home.) In Hopkinton and Ashland, we were greeted with bluegrass bands, biker bars, "U-S-A" chants, and country music blaring from pickup truck speakers. In Framingham, we saw raucous house parties and heard our first and only salsa music. Wellseley and Newton fans were festive, though more subdued, and they gave out extremely high-end water and snacks.

I was buoyed along the way with great running partners - Mark, and Arthur Jemison, and the rest of the College Bound Dorchester team, as well as Team MR8, for Martin Richard.

(I also ran a very inspiring 5K on Saturday as part of an expanded Team MR8.) Seeing my family at Mile 22 was a huge lift. And of course, so good to hear Match people calling out my name too. Many thanks for being out there.

In case you're interested in my time, it was just a shade beyond three hours longer than the guy who won it. Wasn't exactly burning up the track, but I'm feeling pretty good the day after. Had enough in me throughout to truly enjoy myself.

I so appreciate everyone's support. You helped me raise a nice amount of money for a very important education nonprofit in a short amount of time. Plus no one told me I was straight up stupid for trying to do this.  If you haven't given yet and you are so moved, the link is below.

Many thanks again,

If you want to read the definitive account of the Richard family, who lost their 8-year-old son Martin in last year's bombing, this Boston Globe 2-parter is the best. 

Highly recommended.  Mom, I know you like to know in advance if you need a tissue for an article.  For this you need the whole box. 

Globe photos here

Part One here

Part Two here