Tens of thousands of people from all over the world will trek 26.2 miles around the greater Boston area and square off against Heartbreak Hill as part of an anticipated record-setting Boston Marathon. Among those who will visit Massachusetts’ capitol city is District 9 Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who has coordinated with eight friends to raise more than $34,000 for charities linked to the event.
Sinema, who represents sections of Mesa, Chandler, Tempe and Ahwatukee, is set to run the 118th iteration of the Boston Marathon on April 21. She’ll tackle the marathon — her 10th overall — alongside a group of friends, all of whom have never run the marathon before.
“We just wanted to honor those who died and those who survived,” she said.
Hosted annually on Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts – the third Monday of April – the event is the country’s premiere marathon and draws some of the top distance runners from all over the world. As Sinema put it, the Boston Marathon is the “holy grail” for distance runners.
“I never dreamed I’d run Boston,” she said.
The marathon’s usual capacity is 27,000, but the response to the 2013 bombing led the event organizers, the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.), to expand the field to a record high of 36,000, according to the B.A.A.’s website.
Most runners earn a spot by posting a qualifying time at a different race, and those times are separated by gender and age groupings; men between the ages of 18 and 34, for example, have to complete a marathon in three hours and five minutes. Sinema took the other route and joined with her friends to raise money for a collection of charities linked directly to the marathon.
The two charities Sinema said her group was selected to fundraise for were Team MR8 and the One Fund. The former includes 100 runners raising money for the Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation, named after the 8-year-old killed during the bombing. According to a Runner’s World article, the organization raised $1 million, and Sinema said her group chipped in $20,000.
The other organization, the One Fund, was formed the day after the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 as a way to aid the more than 260 people injured during the run. The group has raised more than $10,500, and Sinema said it is still collecting money at http://www.crowdrise.com/search/all/sinema.
The group raised an additional $4,000 for the Greater New England Chapter of the National MS Society.
Sinema and her teammates ran a short, half-hour run along with a few fellow runners ahead of their trip to Boston on April 15 to commemorate the bombing’s first anniversary. While the taper run began with a moment of silence for the victims, the feelings inspired by that event will fall far short of what she expects to experience next Monday.
“I think it’s going to be the most emotional marathon of my life,” she said. “It’s a really great privilege to be able to run for those who can’t run.”
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