Family, friends, and fellow OCR athletes,
I’m excited to announce that I’ll be running the Boston Marathon in 2019, as a part of the Miles for Miracles program for Boston’s Children’s Hospital!
Living in the Boston area my whole life, the Boston Marathon is just one of those events that I grew up dreaming about participating in (even long before running was ever something that I like… actually did). And while I’m excited for the event itself, it’s really the cause that I’ll be running for, and to run in honor of my friend Randy Bernard's two sons.
I first met Randy Bernard at the Fenway race in 2016. He had heard about OCR BEAST coaching, and had recognized me from Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge, and we met up to discuss run coaching after the race. He’s been a part of Team OCR BEAST ever since, and has been coached on and off by us over the last two years, especially focused on ultras for the last ~12 months.
About 6 weeks ago, I got a long text from Randy early in the morning. He started to let me know that about halfway through his wife’s recent pregnancy they found out that their baby boy had some serious kidney problems, with almost zero kidney function. He told me that the further along they got, the less hopeful the doctors were, but also the further they got, the better chance the doctors might have to help him.
But on that Monday morning, at 4 am and at 31 weeks, Randy’s wife Jenn gave birth to their son Cameron Joseph, and by Tuesday afternoon, they all moved to comfort care measures, where they were able to spend a beautiful night with their son as he peacefully passed. And as sad and unfortunate as this story is for me to tell on their behalf, this comes just a year after Randy and Jenn had a tough prior pregnancy, where their son Aaron had a significant deletion of his third chromosome. They knew it was likely he wouldn't walk, talk, or breathe on his own, and it was also likely that he would have little-to-no cognitive ability. They made the difficult decision to terminate their pregnancy.
I don’t want to act as though I can even come close to imagining what it must be like for Randy and Jenn to go through this. My heart breaks for them. And as I mulled over how much detail about their story I wanted to include here, I feel like the journey that they’ve been on the last 18 months is not mine to tell. I encourage everyone that’s able to read Randy and Jenn’s story on their donation page here:
And while I consider Randy a good friend, we’ve really only known each other for a couple of years. We aren’t so close that I’d be the first person he’d reach out to in order to share this news, but I was hearing it before everyone because of what came next.
Randy’s text went on to say that Boston Children’s Hospital and their staff had been absolutely stellar, and beyond amazing this time around again, and that he immediately made it his goal to run the 2019 Boston Marathon in honor of both of his sons, and fund raise for this incredible establishment, and he asked if I’d coach him in preparation for this journey.
And after I apologized, and sent thoughts and prayers to him and his family, I told him that I’d love to do one better, and not only prepare Randy for the marathon, but run it myself in honor of his two sons, and to fundraise for BCH as well. We went through the paperwork, and interviews, and found out we were both chosen out of 1,000 entries on October 1st.
I’ve set my sights pretty high, and am hoping to raise $10,000 for Boston Children’s Hospital. If you’re in a position where you can make a donation, I know that I myself, Randy and his family, and Boston Children’s Hospital all appreciate it!