Boston, MA – As the 114th Boston Marathon progressed, runners crossed the finish line and were draped with the iconic foil blanket to insulate them after hours of sweating.
Some runners clutched the blankets around their shoulders, juggling flowers and water bottles in the process. Others tied it around their necks, leaving their arms free to stretch. Either way, the resemblance was uncanny—complete with a dazzling cape and a medal of honor—they were superheroes.
Though the Marathon has been a Boston tradition for well over a century, this year was the first for the Boston Bruins Foundation Marathon team. With its 15 members, comprised of both Bruins employees and friends of the organization, the team raised over $50,000.
All the proceeds will go to benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation, which is dedicated to providing grants to organizations that enrich the community, especially in regards to local children.
With over 22, 000 runners participating and history being made by Kenya’s Robert Cheruiyot, who set a course record at 2:05:52, there was a lot to celebrate at this year’s Boston Marathon.
The money raised by the Boston Bruins Foundation runners adds an even bigger sense of accomplishment to an already amazing feat.
In addition to their stellar fundraising skills, the Bruins runners also proved that they’re no slouches when it comes to the 26. 2-mile course.
The team included Kerry Hall, Brett Kelley, Meghan McEvoy. Lara Balter, Anne Chiarelli, Alexa Nicholls, Lyndsey Ferreira, Rose Marie Furey, Jarod Warsofsky, Allyson McDonald, Christine Sweeney, Erin Lynch, Dan Eccles, Sue Ann Strathie, and Peter DeRoeve—and all crossed the finish line.
Kerry Hall, two-time Boston Marathon vet, led the team, completing the grueling marathon in 3:38:04, over 10 minutes faster than her goal, and became the only team member to come in below the four-hour mark.
Other members also hit personal bests, thanks to months of training and ideal race-day weather.
“I’m so excited, we’ve raised a ton of money for a great cause and it’s my first marathon, so I’m a little nervous, but excited at the same time,” said Bruins ice girl and marathon first-timer Alexa Nicholls.
As one of the featured marathon runners on the Bruins website, stories of Alexa and her progress were posted weekly. All the hard work paid off, with Alexa crossing the finish line in 4:46:50.
“I’m looking forward to making that turn onto Boylston right now,” Alexa said with a laugh. “But I think the crowd’s going to be so exciting, everyone just helping you get through the whole marathon. So I’m looking forward to that.”
Dan Eccles, senior staff accountant for the B’s, laced up his sneakers for his second Boston Marathon. He was also featured as part of the Bruins marathon coverage. The experienced runner said all nerves go out the window once the starting gun fires.
“I’m still excited. After the first time experience, I guess I’m trying to improve upon what I did last time.” he said. “I’m not as nervous as I was last year. Still nervous, but not as much as I was last year.”
Dan completed the race with a final time of 4:15:38.
Bob Sweeney, director of development for the Foundation, cheered on the team from the sidelines and said he was impressed with the level of commitment each and every runner showed.
“This is the first year the Bruins and the Bruins Foundation had a marathon team and I want to thank Dave McGillivary and the BAA (Boston Athletic Association) for letting us have a team this year,” Sweeney said. “To date, we’ve raised over $50,000, which is great for a first time event.
“We had a great group of runners internally here, we had some Bruins employees, we had Peter Chiarelli’s sister, we had Don Sweeney’s wife, Michael Ryder’s girlfriend. So it’s great support internally as well as externally.”
The knowledge that the money raised would go to benefit such a worthy cause helped the runners power through the pain of the marathon.
“It went good,” said Dan. “I felt good at the beginning, but towards the end I sort of stiffened up and got hurt.”
Then smiling, he added, “I’m done. Two’s enough. That’s it, I’m retiring.”
Though Bruins Nation will have to wait until next Marathon Monday to see if Dan will run again, one thing is for sure—the Boston Bruins Foundation Marathon team is one group of superheroes who have certainly earned their capes.