Charlestown resident Emily Fleming completed the Boston Marathon last year, no small achievement on any day, but the freezing rain and gusty winds made the 26-mile, 385-yard course as uninviting as possible for every competitor in the field.
In April, Fleming, 28, will return to the starting line in Hopkinton as a member of the Boston Children’s Hospital’s Miles for Miracles Team, helping children and families who receive world-class care at the world- renowned hospital.
Miles For Miracles team members raise funds for Boston Children’s Hospital’s areas of greatest need: patient care, medical research, recruitment and training, and community health programs. Runners such as Fleming meet their fundraising goal through personal donations from their families, friends, community, and co-workers.
“My goal is to raise $10,000,” said Fleming, an emergency department technician at a Boston hospital.
“It’s such a great charity. I really wanted to run for Children’s because I love kids. They really can’t raise money for themselves. They’re relying on us to care for them. That’s why I think it’s one of the most important charities out there. I’m really excited to run for them and I feel fortunate to be a member of the team. To put all my fundraising efforts toward that is really special.”
Fleming is set to begin her training next week for the 2019 Marathon, which will be her third official run to Boston.
“The team provides coaches, and we have a workout plan,” said Fleming. “We’ll do various-length runs throughout the week as well as cross training. Every Saturday the team meets for a team run and that’s when we do longer distances.”
Fleming’s zest for long distance running was inspired by her parents, both successful long-distance runners. Her mother, Lisa, a former star athlete at Barnstable High School, competed in 20 consecutive Boston Marathons (1997-2016), raising thousands of dollars for charity.
“We would usually wait with the family and cheer on my mother at Mile 20 in Newton in the middle of Heartbreak Hill,” said Fleming.
Emily’s father, Russ, has run in five Boston Marathons. He played college football at Colby College in Maine.
Emily played ice hockey and field hockey at Winchester High School and Hebron Academy. She remembers playing hockey games against Charlestown teams at the Emmons Horrigan O’Neil Rink.
A graduate of Assumption College with a degree in Biology, Fleming moved to Charlestown this year. She said she’s enjoying her new neighborhood.
Some of the highlights of her previous Marathon runs include being cheered on by Wellesley College and Boston College students along the course.
Fleming is hoping for a considerably better day than the torrential rains she encountered a year ago. “The whole field at the Athletes Village in Hopkinton was inches of mud, so my sneakers were covered in mud,” she recalled. “By five miles in to the race, we had so much rain that my sneakers were cleaned off. I was getting puddles in my jacket sleeves. Nobody was going for PRs (personal bests) at that point – it was, ‘because of the weather, I’m just here to finish.’”
We’re optimistic that Mother Nature will be bringing the springtime sunshine on Emily Fleming’s noteworthy charitable endeavor come Marathon Monday.
(If you would like to support Emily Fleming, please visit: http://FundraiseChildrensHospital.org/go to Emily Fleming.)