By Sullivan Burgess ’20
In just a few days, the city of Boston will host its annual marathon, commemorating the state holiday Patriots’ Day. 2019 will mark the 123rd marathon. There will be an estimated 30,000 runners participating, both amateurs and professionals.
The marathon runners include amateurs of all ages, who are able to run as a sponsor for charity. One of the sponsor runners for this year’s marathon includes Providence College’s own Kathleen Garvey ’20.
Growing up in Massachusetts, Garvey has been an avid fan of the marathon throughout her whole life, and has always dreamed about running it. In watching the marathon every year at Wellesley Square, she was out on the street cheering for her mother, who has run over 24 marathons over the years, and the Boston Marathon for 14 years in a row, supporting the Boston Children’s Hospital.
With her 15th year coming up in the Boston Marathon, Garvey’s mother has decided to make this her final one in Boston. When Garvey heard this news, she quickly decided to join her mother in her last race for her own first ever Boston Marathon.
For Garvey, she sees the race as not only a memorable moment with her mom, but also a passing of the torch moment. Garvey says, “It will be quite different than watching on the sideline, and I am looking forward to compete with her for such an amazing cause.”
As mentioned, in support of the Boston Children’s Hospital, each member supporting this charity has a goal of $6,000, and is given a sponsor child to represent. For the past 15 years, Garvey and her mother have represented a patient named Jillian, who has basically grown up with the family and is a member in Garvey’s eyes.
One of the most important aspects of the race, as well as the longevity of how long her mother has been running the marathon, is how it brings Garvey’s family together even in the worst times.
Garvey’s mother was one of the runners of the 2013 Boston Marathon, the race when the bombs had gone off at the finish line of the race. She had finished the race before the bombs had gone off, but was just a mere few blocks away from the scene.
Garvey says this event shows the accomplishment her mom had put into running the next year along with the other survivors, Garvey notes, if she can accomplish this, she can accomplish anything.
While abroad last semester, around Thanksgiving, Garvey had gotten the call that she was able to compete and run in the marathon. From the moment she returned home from Europe, the training began. Running most days around PC and into the city, Garvey is ready for the marathon.
One note of excitement she is able to witness while running is being able to hear the cheers of her name from the groups of people around Massachusetts supporting her and her cause. While she does not care what her time is for the marathon, she has asked everyone around her and around the world to donate to her cause for the Boston Children’s Hospital.