BOSTON - Patriots' Day will undoubtedly be one of the Boston's biggest sporting days of the year as the Red Sox play their annual morning matinee, before the Bruins take on the Ottawa Senators in Game 3 of the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
That's before, of course, mentioning the city's largest, highest-attended sporting event of the year.
The 121st Boston Marathon is set to kick off on Monday morning, bringing some of the world's greatest athletes to the city in an effort to conquer the 26.2-mile run from Hopkinton to the finish line on Boylston Street.
Enter the Boston Bruins Foundation, which is fielding a Boston Marathon team for the 10th straight year, dating back to 2008. Over the course of their participation, the foundation has raised over $175,000 for charity.
Thanks to an increased partnership between the Bruins, the Boston Athletic Association and John Hancock, the foundation has been allotted 30 bibs for Monday's race.
"Everybody is looking for a bib," said Bob Sweeney, Director of the Boston Bruins Foundation. "It's great that all of the different charities can get involved in this program. So, we want to thank John Hancock for organizing all of the bibs for the marathon."
One of the recipients of those bibs is Sweeney's friend and Wakefield, Mass., native John Caron.
Caron, the owner of West End Johnnie's, located right down the street from TD Garden, is a long-time friend of the Bruins organization. He is fighting through a strict training regimen and a number of hefty obstacles in order to get out and represent the Bruins Foundation.
"The first time I ran in 2014, I had a broken foot and a torn calf muscle," Caron recalled. "As you get older, your hips hurt and I had a knee replacement back in ."
Despite numerous roadblocks, Caron has returned in gritty, Boston Bruins fashion in order to help the Bruins Foundation for a second time.
"I never thought I'd be able to do one, and now I'm doing two," said Caron, who has gone to great lengths to maximize his fundraising efforts. "The Bruins are a great team and a great organization, and people open their pockets for a great cause."
As for Caron's game plan for the marathon?
"I'm going to try and go slow the first 10 to 12 miles, like they tell you to do," he said, "and get to Boston College and let the people and the runners pull you in."
For Jesse Frye, a Watertown native running her first ever marathon, the emotion is what she hopes will carry her over the top.
"I know I can do half," said Frye, another member of the Bruins Foundation team. "After that, I'm just going to check off one mile at a time and let the adrenaline and the crowd and thinking about why I'm raising the money get me through the rest of it."
Frye has wished to run a marathon for a long time and was familiar with the Bruins Foundation from entering the 50/50 raffle at games she attended. When she searched and read about the Bruins Foundation online, Frye knew she had to get involved.
"I was like, 'Yes. This is what I stand for as a human being,'" said Frye. "So, I wrote a letter and applied, and they said yes. And here I am!"
Frye couldn't contain her enthusiasm when asked about her excitement level to be representing the foundation.
"I feel incredibly proud and grateful to be able to be running for the Boston Bruins Foundation. They do so much for the children in our community," said Frye. "I want to wear the big Bruins logo on my shirt, my Bruins hat, and let everyone know that that's what I'm doing."
Frye will likely have Sweeney in the stands cheering her on as she conquers the biggest physical challenge of her life.
"Every year, I always try to go down by the finish line and it is always jam-packed, a lot of cheering," said Sweeney. "It's very special. It's very loud.
"To see some of these people cross the finish line for the first time, it's just a great, great thing to see and to witness, and we're happy to help them any way we can. And more importantly, we're thankful for all of the hard work that they do in raising funds for the Boston Bruins Foundation."
For more information on the Boston Bruins Foundation, please visit https://www.nhl.com/bruins/community/foundation and learn more about how you can get involved today.