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Boston Marathon Featured Runner - Jessica DiPhilippo

Boston Marathon Featured Runner - Jessica DiPhilippo

Let's see where to begin...back in late November/early December of 2016 I received an email notification from Megan Melville mentioning Expect Miracles Foundation received 2 bibs for the 2017 Boston Marathon. Being a current volunteer for the Foundation, I thought it would be such an amazing opportunity to support an organization that's close to my heart and potentially run the marathon that I've watched as a fan for the past 6 years. However, 2 bibs meant A TON of competition so I applied on a whim just to throw my name in the hat. Two weeks later I received a call from Megan. I thought it was going to be more a conversation like "Thank you so much for your application but we went with so-and-so", but in reality she said "you've been selected to be one of the runners in the 2017 Boston Marathon". At that moment, my heart sank and I teared up in joy. I was thrilled to have been chosen out of so many applications and never felt more grateful. I immediately signed the papers and accepted the difficult journey of training and fundraising. 

 

And boy was it a challenge. You cannot anticipate how cold it really is from the months of late December through the end of March. Every Saturday or Sunday morning was spent running a long distance run in a multitude of conditions; 10 degree weather, wind, rain, snow, sleet, etc. I would take the commuter rail from south station out to Wellesley, Natick, West Natick and even out to Hopkinton when it was the last long 22 miler. It's hard to wrap your head around the fact that I would take a 45min- 1 hour long train ride out of the city and then run home 16-22 miles at times. As much as marathon training gets your body conditioned for endurance and difficult runs, I realized that its more a testament to your mental fitness. During those long distance runs you experience so many different states. Anything from "I can do this and I will never give up" to "Why on earth did I sign up for this" to "Holy cow I just ran for 3 hours straight". Your mind goes through a whirl wind when you put your body through that type of training. 

 

Fundraising was a new adventure for me as well. After being an athlete in college, I had always dabbled in a little fundraising here or there but nothing close to $8k. Aside from training in 10 degree weather, this was probably my toughest challenge. However, I did it! I utilized my family business, reached out to friends, family, & co-workers, and also used my recruiting profession to spread the word about Expect Miracles Foundation and my journey of training for the 2017 Boston Marathon. In addition, I held a fundraiser spin class and focused on inviting all connections to a fundraiser happy hour event that Expect Miracles team held for the Expect Miracles Racing Team. After about 5 months, I was about to raise $8,300 towards cancer research and in some respects that was more of an accomplishment than finishing the training. By merely focusing on my friends and family, I was able to get close to $5,700 and the remainder was through my fundraiser events. 

 

Now "The Big Day" - one last thing to mention is that nothing in my life will compare to the day of the race. I finally made it and never felt more ready. I met a ton of new faces prior to starting that morning. People from all walks of life, all areas across the globe and as I stepped up the starting line I was so honored to have made it this far. It was also the only condition that day that I had never trained it; HEAT. I was nervous about dehydration and how I would feel but thankfully it did not have a negative affect on me. The first 10-12 miles of the race were great and I made it to my favorite part of the course; Wellesley. After going to Babson, I was able to run past former soccer teammates cheering me on and run through a town that I grew up in during my college years. The hardest part of the race was between mile 16-17 right before heartbreak hill. At that point, I was pretty banged up, hurting and exhausted. I knew I had about 9 more miles to push through. No matter what condition my body was in I said to myself "I'm running the fricken Boston Marathon... Dig deep for those who will never get a chance to experience this". Once I made it to the last mile of the race, it was by far my favorite part of the entire race. I had written my name on my arm in sharpie and people were going wild screaming my name "YOU GOT THIS JESS! YOU'RE SO CLOSE!". The crowd was so loud I said to myself "Wow this is what it must feel like to be a professional athlete running out of the tunnel for a big game". I will never get the sound out of my head of the Boston pride that day. The second I crossed the finish line I was flooded with emotions and started to cry thinking "I really just finished the 2017 Boston Marathon". They say that even through the most painful and challenging experience, it is human nature to remember only the last 2 glorified minutes of that experience. That's what makes it all worth it. I felt that after running the 2017 Boston Marathon. I've never felt more blessed and accomplished to have done it. I still say everyday "I really did it". 

Thank You Janus Henderson!
Boston Marathon Featured Runner - Laura Adams

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