2020 Boston Teammate to Finally Cross the Finish Line on Boylston Next Month
“I dare you to train for a marathon, and not have it change your life.” – Susan Sidoriak
Those words perfectly sum up my experience as I trained for the Boston Marathon with Tedy’s Team. When I first stumbled upon Tedy’s Team I was immediately drawn to its mission. Helping raise awareness of the signs of stroke and giving survivors a comeback. My late grandfather suffered multiple strokes in his lifetime before he sadly passed in 2017. While he was still alive, he worked tremendously hard to educate people about stroke and how his stroke impacted his cognitive capabilities. He even wrote a book about his experience to further educate others.
In the fall of 2019, I got word I would be joining Tedy’s Team to aid in their mission and join several other teammates in completing the “Super Bowl of marathons” – the Boston Marathon. I was elated to run this iconic race and do so in memory of my grandfather. But within a few months of training and fundraising, the world changed as the COVID-19 pandemic upended lives seemingly overnight.
Despite surpassing my fundraising goal and the relentless months of training, the 2020 Boston Marathon did not take place finishing on Boylston Street. Instead, the race turned virtual. Forever an optimist, I allowed myself one day to feel disappointed in what could have been. This wasn’t the race I was mentally preparing for – but I raised more than $8,000 for stroke and heart disease awareness and research and had an entire team of supportive runners behind me. My training allowed me to make lifelong friends, share many miles with inspiring runners, and even took me across the country as my family moved from California to Maryland.
It indeed was the journey, not the destination, I was after. It wasn’t the Boston Marathon experience I envisioned, but it turned out better. A fellow Tedy’s Team runner and I ran those 26.2 miles, not through the heart of Boston, but in a small town near Annapolis, Md. On that marathon day, my life changed.
A few years later, with precautions and vaccines in place, I could hear the memory of my grandfather urging me to finish what I had started in 2019.
Prior to joining Tedy’s Team, I would have called myself an average runner. I ran for recreation, but I had never followed a training program or structured plan. With my virtual marathon and a cross-country move behind me, I found a local running club in my new home of Maryland. I spent the last few years improving my running, setting and crushing new time goals, and am now a marathon program coach. It all started because of Tedy’s Team. Joining this team lit a fire inside me – to be a better runner and an advocate for a cause close to my heart.
Now, just a few weeks away from finally reaching my goal of running the Boston Marathon to honor my grandfather’s legacy, I can look back and say my life has again changed. I have been able to spread the mission of Tedy’s Team further than I ever thought possible. I have a whole community of supporters, new and old, whom I’ve educated on the warning signs of stroke and heart disease.
So thank you Tedy’s Team, you gave me something I am forever indebted for – and when that magical day comes and I cross that finish line after running those famed 26.2 miles, I can’t wait to reflect back on everything that led me to this moment. The wait was well worth it.
Libby Miller – Tedy’s Team alum and current member of our 2023 Boston Marathon® team.
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