Reflecting on Marathon Weekend

It’s taken me a solid week to come down from my runner’s high and be able to compose myself enough to put my thoughts into words. It’s hard to describe how amazing Marathon weekend was without sounding over-dramatic, so I’ll just leave it at that – amazing.

During our team dinner the Saturday before the Marathon, Phil used the words “passionate, committed, resilient and strong” to describe the community we’ve built. While those all ring so very true, as I ran last Monday, I thought of a few more key ones that I think Phil forgot:

We are proud. “We” being the Genzyme Boston Marathon Team, to wear our company’s name, NORD’s logo and slogan and our patient partner’s name/photo on our jerseys. “We” being the Running for Rare Diseases community, to come together and give a voice to diseases that aren’t always heard. And “we” being the great city of Boston, which many of us proudly get to call home. On a personal level, I also felt a lot of pride throughout those 26.2 miles. Running through my hometown, past my old high school and elementary school, past the street my mom grew up on, and past the bar I stood outside of during the 2013 Boston Marathon, cheering on the team and thinking not in a million years would I ever be able to accomplish this feat.

We are supportive. Supportive of each other as runners, riding out to Hopkinton, all with drastically different goals given we have a wide variety of running levels, speed and experience on the team, but also all with one collective goal. And we are supported by so many along the way. Our group of over 100 at Mile 14 erupting as you ran through. Friends, family and colleagues scattered throughout the course, giving you that extra push you need to keep going. And the (literally) millions of random strangers lining the streets, providing  encouragement, high fives, amusing signs, orange slices and anything else you could possibly need. My underarms are forever indebted to the woman handing out Popsicle sticks of Vaseline.  And while it’s not all about the money, I think it’s worth mentioning that our community is certainly financially supportive too – collectively raising over $100,000 for the Genzyme/NORD NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Fund!

Lastly, we are grateful. To be a part of this community. For the connections and friendships we’ve made over the past few months. For our patient partners sharing their stories with us. To be healthy enough to make it to the starting line. To run a safe race. And to have been been a part of taking back our finish line.

Thank you all for letting me be a part of this journey. They are memories and feelings I’ll never forget!

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2 comments on “Reflecting on Marathon Weekend
  1. Amy says:

    Beautifully said, Shay! Wait – you mean Phil actually forgot something?!?! ;)

  2. Emma Rooney says:

    No, it’s not just about the money but thanks for drawing our attention to what was raised. That’s incredible and definitely something to be acknowledged and to be proud of.
    Being part of this team has helped me to realize the true value of collaboration between various parts of the rare disease community. Genzyme should be proud of how you represented the company’s values. Patients don’t always get to see this side and make the connection. I think it’s positive for everyone and a unique model of working together!

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