B.U. Bridge is published by the Boston University Office of University Relations.
I've always loved sports, but have never been a runner. Running over a mile was too daunting for me to even consider. However, last year a good friend inspired me to train for the Boston Marathon. What seemed a pipe dream gradually became a possibility as I found the capacity for endurance. I ran my first marathon last year in Boston -- but without my training partner, who was injured two weeks before the race -- and finished in 4:21.
After the race, I set a new goal -- to finish in under four hours in 2001.
I went abroad to study in Sydney, Australia, last semester and so was unable to participate in any U.S. qualifying runs. It appears I'll be running this year's marathon as a bandit, but this time I won't be alone.
Last summer, I cajoled my father into joining me on two-mile neighborhood loops. Before I left for Australia, he promised to keep up his training so he could run this year's marathon with me. He surpassed anything I could have dreamed; I received e-mails from him while I was in Australia, telling me how he'd caught the running bug.
As a person who just a couple of years ago refused to run longer than 30 minutes, I'm now a devotee of distance running and of the discipline and determination required to run Boston. Running the race last year ranks among the top moments of my life -- the sheer adrenaline from the crowd kept me surging ahead.
Now I want to share that feeling with my father.
Today you may see us jogging along the road and assume we're just another father and daughter sharing a short run. You'd hardly guess we were finishing up a 14-mile training run together!
I've been so inspired by my father's determination in training, which in turn has reinforced my own self-discipline. After running side by side, we've agreed that running is 80 percent mental; during a long run, you can clear your head of stress and frustration and think about ways to tackle problems and projects.
Soon we'll be printing up our father-daughter Vintinner team T-shirts. We'll be wearing them all the way from Hopkinton to Boston.
-- Erin Vintineer (CAS'01)
I'll be running the 105th Boston Marathon for my older brother Freddy.
Freddy has been hospitalized in Costa Rica since November 2000, when he had a stroke. The left side of his body is now paralyzed. On February 1, his left leg was amputated because of diabetes (he lost his right leg four years ago, also due to diabetes).
This year, from start to finish, my brother Freddy is going to be 100 percent in my mind.
Right after I finish this year's race, I'll call my brother in Costa Rica. Then on April 22 I'm going to Costa Rica to visit him. I'll bring with me the Boston Marathon medal and my running number and give them to him. I will say to him, like I have always said to him, "I love you. This is for you."
I feel really proud of my brother, and I know he feels really proud of me.
A lot of times when I'm training and my legs start to feel pain, I think about Freddy and a lot of other people who aren't able to run. For some reason, the pain goes away. I don't know how, and I don't know why. I keep running and running and thinking about how blessed I am.
My daily routine hasn't fluctuated for the past five months. I wake up about 4:30 a.m., jump out of bed, and climb on the exercise machine or head out the door for a run.
The reward for these efforts will come on April 16 when I hit the streets to run the 105th Boston Marathon -- my sixth. My wife, Sukie, and my daughter, Jennifer, will be waiting for me at the finish line. It will be great to see them.
Wish me luck.
-- Carlos Vazquez, assistant director, custodial services, Office of the Physical Plant