For the third year in a row, Mass Mentoring Partnership is honored to be an official charity partner of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon® on April 15. We want you to meet our amazing runners. Let’s go Team MMP!
Runner: Christopher Collier
Longest run to date: Bermuda Triangle Challenge January 2013 (3 days: 1 mile, 10k, Full Marathon)
Favorite song to listen to while running: Chariots of Fire
Favorite post-run snack: Gatorade. But after a marathon race all I really want is a messy bacon cheeseburger and a beer.
- What inspired you to run the 2013 Boston Marathon for MMP? Running is a great way to stay in shape. It is also a great way to make new friends. Running along the coalition path with all the others is a very inspiring time. Hundreds of charity runners are on the path. Waking up early on Saturday morning to go run 10-15 miles in the cold. Some think we are crazy, but they just haven’t experienced the reward at the end of the trail. Last year, I was completing one of my longer training runs and was on the back-end of the run, eagerly looking for my finish mark. I was gaining on a runner and as I got closer to him I realized that he only had one foot and was running with a prosthetic running device. I don’t know how he lost his limb but I do know that the courage and strength it takes for someone to be able to lose a limb and then have the ambition to get back to running is powerful beyond measure. Whenever I am running out of energy on my runs I just think back to this moment and realize, if he could do it, then I really have no good excuse to quit.
- What has been the most rewarding experience of your training and/or fundraising so far? I very much enjoy the support during the races. Strangers will scream for you, hand you water or snacks. During the 2012 Boston Marathon people had their garden hoses on all day for you to run through. It is really humbling to see all the support the community gives.
- Tell me about your mentee! My Mentee is Jahmir. He is 11-years-old. I have recently graduated from the program due to a change in location. I spent more than 2.5 years spending weekends with him just enjoying time together in a nearby arcade, Boston Common, or forcing him to clear a fear of heights and check out the observation lounge at the top of the Prudential. As many mentors know, the first few months are not easy and there is usually a large barrier that must be broken one brick at a time. However, once I gained his trust, I befriended an energetic, athletic, happy-go-lucky adolescent. I can tell what he enjoys most is just having someone to hang out with, joke around with, and be a little rambunctious with.
- What do you think is the most important thing a mentor can do for a child? Be patient and sometimes all you have to do is listen. Be an outlet. Be a friend and not a parent.
- What is the best piece of advice a mentor can give? Being in a mentoring program is not all sunshine and rainbows. There will be struggles along the way, but if you are patient with the relationship, there is a light that shines brighter than any other at the end of the tunnel.
- Complete this sentence: When I finish the Marathon, I will feel…Exhausted, but very proud.
If you would like to read more about Christopher or make a donation to his fundraising, please visit http://www.razoo.com/story/Boston-Marathon-2013-1