In our “Why I’m Running” series, Boston Marathon runners share what’s inspiring them to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston on April 16, 2018. Editor’s note: Due to the number of submissions already received, we are no longer accepting entries for this year’s race.
Name: Jennipher Ray
Bib #: 25365
I first ran the Boston Marathon in my 20s, then continued into my 30s, ran one in my 40s, and now will run my eighth at age 51. I thought I was done with marathons until my lifelong friend Keith “Beefa” Hall was told his cancer had returned last April. I told him I would run this year in his honor, but am heartbroken to be running in his memory instead. I’m raising money for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and am incredibly thankful for my supporters who have helped me raise more than $11,000 for innovative cancer research. As the aches and pains of age creep into my body during my training runs, I remind myself how blessed I am to be here — so many loved ones, friends, neighbors, and colleagues didn’t get that privilege. As I run, I chant the names of those I’ll be wearing on my back on Marathon Monday — among them Keith, my two beloved aunts Judy and Marcia, and other angels like Matty Dubuc, Brian Liburd, Bridget Slotemaker, Tim Sylvia, Elizabeth Ray, and so many others.
Editor’s note: Entries may have been lightly edited for clarity or grammar.