Even if Dorchester High’s athletic teams didn’t do as amazing as they have so far this year, Shanell Mosley would still have had plenty of motivation to run her first ever marathon during Monday’s 117th Boston Marathon.
“I think whether we were good or not I think my biggest incentive to run is my students,” Mosley, who is the Zone facilitator at Dorchester Academy, said of the Bears' football team going undefeated before losing in the Super Bowl and the boys' basketball team making the city tournament for the first time in decades. “They face daily challenges whether it’s in school or home or in the community. They are often told they can’t do stuff.
"My biggest thing is to run this race for them and prove to them that anything is possible if you really put your mind to it and really work hard. My kids are like ‘Are you really running 26.2 miles for us?’ We even have a countdown [board] in the school.”
Mosley is running and raising money for the Boston Scholar Athletes team that for the second straight year was granted bibs to run the marathon through John Hancock's Marathon Non-Profit Program.
Suffolk Construction employee Kim Norris is also running for the BSA team for the first time this year while Liz Collins and Joseph Cappellano are both returning to the team for the second year.
The senior Zone facilitator at the O’Bryant school, Cappellano said last year was his first-ever marathon and the 80-degree conditions slowed him down. He finished in 4 hours and 40 minutes.
“The heat definitely took a lot out of me last year,” he said. “This year I’m hoping to take an hour off that. I definitely trained different last year. I ran more days of the week and I did a lot more long runs and I felt more broken down by the end.
“This year I did more biking and I’m a hockey player so I did a lot more skating and less running. And I actually feel like I’m in a lot better shape now. I only did two or three of the longer runs leading up to it but I still hit all the marks that I needed to.”
Cappellano said so far he’s raised almost $4,500 of his $6,000 goal. He has until mid-May to raise the money before he has to pay it out of his pocket, which is why he is holding a post-marathon fundraiser from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 24 at Lincoln restaurant in South Boston.
“It’s going to celebrate actually doing the marathon as opposed to celebrating that you’re about to do the marathon,” he said. “It’s free to enter. We’ll have a 50/50 raffle and other raffle prizes.”
As for Mosley’s fundraising goal, she said she’s about 95 percent of the way there. She also said the team on the whole has already eclipsed their $20,000 goal earlier this week.
She said the money will help pay for the BSA’s Summer Fit program, which provides students with strength and conditioning opportunities during summer vacation at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Dorchester. They also have a similar program for Spring Break next week.
The 25-year-old helped raise her portion of the funds by challenging each homeroom in her school to raise at least $26. She promised to treat the winners to a breakfast buffet.
“Incidentally my homeroom won, the BSA Bear Zone,” she said. “They get the breakfast buffet this Friday because they raised $70. The runner up raised $48.”
Mosley, who hopes to finish the marathon in five hours, said she expects to see many of those same students at the BSA-sponsored water station on Monday, which will be located at Mile 23 at Corey Road and Beacon Street in Brookline.
“Honestly I’m looking forward to Mile 23,” she said. “That’s where my students are going to be and I hear that’s one of the most difficult parts of the course; you’re almost done but not quite. That will be such a powerful moment for me because that’s the group of people I’m doing this for. This is major for them.
“I feel like once I see them I’ll be able to finish strong. There is even talk of some of my kids trying to jump in and run with me at the end.”
To donate to the BSA's Boston Marathon team click here.
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