By Kevin Doyle
Group Content Editor
Catie Cullen’s emotions will understandably be swirling when she lines up at the start of the 122nd Boston Marathon.
Cullen is running with the Boston Medical Center Team in memory of her late husband Carl, who passed away in December 2016. She is also celebrating her son Dominic’s 10th birthday. Raising funds for the BMC trauma and emergency services center is her acknowledgment of the efforts by BMC personnel during her husband’s final days.
She said she will never forget the little things the staff did. They took the time to read to Carl when she wasn’t there. They also visited her children with the hospital’s therapy dog, Autumn, on the day their father passed.
“The staff at the hospital went above and beyond to support my family during a difficult time. I spent hours at the hospital and the staff took the time to get to know me. They answered the thousands of questions I had. They were patient when I couldn’t wrap my head around anything they were saying,” said Cullen, an Account Specialist for Beverly-based Nexxus Group. “Boston Medical Center did so much for my family and we are so excited to give back to them.”
The historic Boston Marathon is Cullen’s first attempt at the distance.
“I have done half marathons and 5ks, but never a marathon. I have always wanted to run Boston, but was never motivated enough to do it. When the opportunity to run for Boston Medical Center came up I couldn’t pass it by,” said Cullen, a resident of Beverly who enjoys sports in general and played basketball at Endicott College. “I have tried almost every sport thanks to my mom. With a super competitive family it helped push me to be better.”
Not one who would be described as an avid runner, Cullen said: “I always hated running. I would run 5ks to give back to a cause, but never enjoyed running. Over the last year my outlook on running has changed. It has become my ‘me time’ and time to clear my head.”
Training for the 26-mile, 385-yard test of will began with five-mile runs. Cullen is now at 18 miles and will max out at 22 miles before ratcheting back in the weeks before the marathon.
“Training is interesting. Knowing I am running for a great cause makes it worth it, but training pushes you both mentally and physically. It is nice knowing other people who are running the marathon and working out with them,” she said. “My favorite part about training is after I finish a long run I can eat whatever I want and not feel bad.”
She enjoys the fundraising element of the process and hosted a successful roller skating event recently. Her fundraising target is $5,000.
Cullen’s anticipation continues to build as the event draws closer.
“I have talked to people who previously ran and the best advice I received was I am not going to win it so enjoy every moment of it. I am happy that my mom is flying in from Georgia to see me run. I’m looking forward to sharing this moment with my friend and family,” she said. Cullen is hopeful of finishing in the four-hour range but adds “I just want to finish.”
The best part? Sharing the Boston Marathon experience with her children.
“Jordyn and Dominic have definitely been my motivation to run. The marathon is on Dominic’s 10th birthday so he is super excited to spend it in Boston. It has been amazing sharing this experience with them,” she said.
To donate to Catie’s cause, visit: https://www.crowdrise.com/bostonmedicalcenterboston2018/Fundraiser.
The BMC Team has raised more than $4.7 million for the Boston Marathon in the past 15 years. To learn more about The Boston Medical Center, visit: https://www.bmc.org/
Go to http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon.aspx to learn more about The Boston Marathon.