By Kevin Doyle
Group Content Editor
When Catie Cullen lines up at the start of the 122nd Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, MA on Monday, April 16, her emotions will likely – and understandably – be swirling.
While celebrating her son Dominic’s 10th birthday, Cullen will run as a member of the Boston Medical Center Team in memory of her late husband Carl, who passed away in December 2016. She is raising funds for the hospital’s trauma and emergency services center, her way of acknowledging the efforts of BMC personnel during her husband’s final days.
She said she will never forget the little things the staff did, such as taking the time to read to Carl when she wasn’t there, and visiting 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 and 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 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 and, 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.”
Her training for the 26-mile, 385-yard test of will began with five-mile runs. She is now at 18 miles and will max out at 22 miles before ratcheting back in the final weeks leading to 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 am looking forward to the Marathon. 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 look forward to sharing this moment with my friend and family,” she said. Culle is hopeful of finishing in the four-hour range but adds “I just want to finish.”
The best part? Sharing the 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 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.