Why I’m Running: Tony Masciello is running Boston to help Martin Richard’s vision become a reality

"The thought that it could have been my family made me sad, angry, and determined to do what I could."

Tony Masciello. —Courtesy

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.

Name: Tony Masciello
Age: 58
From: Winston-Salem
Bib #: 18139

On April 17, 2000, I ran my first Boston, and I have been smitten ever since. Running isn’t considered a thrilling sport, but on Patriots Day in Boston it is. That day, 15,680 sweaty runners were all treated like we were diminutive Rob Gronkowskis. A shining example of the best of humanity was the massive mutual admiration and affection of runners and spectators.

Boston’s special place in my heart was broken 13 years later in a tragedy I still cannot fathom. In the spot where my family had experienced such joy, another family suffered unimaginable anguish. Among the victims of the bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon were 8-year-old Martin Richard, who died, and his sister, Jane, who lost her left leg. The first time I ran Boston my son was about Martin’s age and my daughter was Jane’s. The thought that it could have been my family made me sad, angry, and determined to do what I could. The resilience of the Richards evolved into the Martin Richard Foundation dedicated to making Martin’s sage advice a reality: “No more hurting people. Peace.” Their mission is to bring our young people a future of kindness, inclusion, and peace.

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This is the fourth year I’ve had the honor to run with Team MR8. As an “out of towner” from North Carolina, all it takes is arriving at Logan to feel the power that is Boston Strong. In the gates at Hopkinton, the electricity intensifies and carries us into Boston. The elation I have cherished running up Boylston now is bittersweet. I will cry to the finish line praying for the future Martin envisioned.

Check out our entire “Why I’m Running” series.

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Editor’s note: Entries may have been lightly edited for clarity or grammar.