Krystle Campbell Peace Garden

Sunday, September 25th, the Krystle Campbell Peace Garden was dedicated in Medford.

krysle-campbell-peace-garden-panorama

It still feels close, even after two and a half years. I can’t even imagine how it feels for the Lus, Colliers, Richards and Campbells. Does the pain and darkness ever fade?

As much as we all want to move on, need to move on, part of us never wants to let go. To forget.

The thought of forgetting is unbearable. How can we? How could we?

Part of the healing and survival process is the easing of the pain. The forgetting. How could we carry on carrying the pain and loss with us each day, as fresh as that moment.

For the families the thoughts and memories never fade. You often hear family members say, “It’s just like yesterday.” For the rest of us it is memorials and commemorations that keep memories alive.

A Place of Peace

The Krystle Campbell Peace Garden is such a memorial. At the corner of Riverside Ave and Clippership Drive in Medford, this place of peace will be seen by thousands of people every day.

While the traffic and jets flying overhead may not make for a peaceful setting, the garden is a place of peace. A place to sit with your own thoughts in a beautiful setting.

It is a place to remember Krystle, Martin, Sean and Lingzi.

Krystle Campbell Peace Garden Dedication

As I sat there waiting for the ceremony to begin I looked around at the empty seats and wondered if maybe this wasn’t important to most people. My throat was tight and my jaw was clenched. I was glad to be wearing sunglasses.

Campbell memorialSitting alone, one moment I was far away, deep in my memories. The next moment I was watching the giant flag hanging from the fire truck or watching the crowd.

While getting ready, I didn’t know what to wear. A suit? Running clothes? My head wasn’t clear. I wanted to be respectful but not be over the top. I decided to wear a Boston Marathon jacket and hat. I am a runner after all.

No one else wore anything running related and I felt like a spectacle in my orange jacket. Only once while walking in the park did someone ask me if I was there and I simply said “no, not that day.”

The dedication was wonderful. The Medford Police, MIT Police and Middlesex Sheriff’s Office Honor

pledge of allegiance, medford

Guards presented colors and we all stood and pledged allegiance. Then Stacie Clayton sang the National Anthem and so did many in the crowd.

Mayor Stephanie Burke and Former Mayer Michael McGlynn spoke as did Senator Markey, David McGillivray and others. The speeches were all brief and meaningful.

Before the unveiling of the Memorial Plaques, Han Nah Son performed Waltz in A Minor by Frederic Chopin. Lingzi Lu was learning to play this song at the time of her death.

In my mind I saw her at the piano working to master the intricate melodies and rhythms of this composition. I could see the concentration on her face and laugh and smile when she made a mistake in practice.

It was not an easy composition but it was one that she selected and wanted to master. As I listened to the music I felt that I got to know her soul and personality in a way words could never convey.

Krystle Campbell Peace GardenWhen the song was finished, Krystle’s father walked to the podium with a cane. He spoke briefly and seemed uncomfortable in front of the crowd. It must have been very difficult for him.

He was then joined by his wife and they walked into the Peace Garden with Mayor Burke to unveil Krystle’s plaque.

Then the Richard and Collier families entered the garden one after the other and unveiled their sons’ plaques. A monk from the Buddhist Temple just down the street unveiled Lingzi’s plaque.

 

lingzi-luRoseann Sdoia, who was injured at the finish line, gave a brief reflection. Rabbi Braham David gave the Benediction and then the Medford High Orchestra played a brief musical interlude.

With that the dedication ceremony was complete and we were all free to enter the Krysle Campbell Peace Garden and view the fountain and the plaques.

The Garden and walkways were very crowded but no one pushed or lingered to long at any one plaque. The camera man from WBZ was very respectful and went out of his way to not interfere with people taking a martin richard, peacemoment to reflect.

After viewing each plaque, the fountain and taking in the garden I walked home.

I was glad that I was able to attend and be a small part of this dedication and remembrance. This garden will always be there for all of us and I plan to stop by once in a while and remember.

 

I also hope that perhaps runners will find a route that takes them past the Peace Garden on some of their runs. Having a water stop there would be wonderful sean-collier

I think they would appreciate seeing runners come by.

These links were live when checked on October 1st.

Boston.com article

WBZ report

 

 

One Boston Day

one boston day

April 15th, 2016 is the first official One Boston Day.

Last year marked the beginning of this new annual Boston tradition that serves as an opportunity to celebrate the resiliency, generosity, and strength demonstrated by the people of Boston and those around the world in response to the tragedy of April 15, 2013.

“April 15 is a date that has come to stand for our city’s deepest values, and we continue to be amazed by the spirit of the day, in the City, and around the world,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am proud to sign this proclamation so that every April 15 we are inspired to come together to honor the bravery, the resolve and the unity of the City by reaching out, helping those in need, committing random acts of kindness.”

“One Boston Day” encourages random acts of kindness and spreading goodwill, and activities across the City will encourage individuals to give back to their community. The new tradition came together in 2015 based on the desire expressed by many survivors to pass on the kindness, generosity and support they received following the 2013 Boston Marathon.

The City of Boston has launched onebostonday.org, where individuals and organizations can share their plans for One Boston Day and are encouraged to use the hashtag #OneBostonDay. As in the past, Hill Holliday is serving as the creative and digital marketing partner to help spread awareness and raise the visibility of One Boston Day.

– City of Boston

Here is the link to the full press release. If you go to onebostonday.org you can download images to add to your Facebook page and Twitter account. A link to the video below is also available.

Several community groups are hosting blood drives, running shoe collections and other events to support the community.

If you would like to support the community but cannot attend a fundraiser or donate blood, please consider a donation to FamilyAid Boston. This organization has been supporting Boston families for 100 years, and they could use your support today. Contribute here.

FamilyAid Boston Run for Housing

Since 1916, FamilyAid Boston has provided our city’s most vulnerable residents with homelessness prevention, shelter, housing, and support services. We help homeless families get back on their feet and plan for future stability and success.

This year I’m running Boston for FamilyAid Boston. Here is why.

FamilyAid Boston

housing families, familyaid bostonOver the past five years, our Boston Marathon team has become one of our biggest fundraisers. In 2016, our 100th anniversary year, we hope to exceed $100,000.

As Marathon Monday approaches, that goal is becoming a reality. You can help us exceed our goal and help celebrate our 100th year of helping families in need of hope.

You may wonder, what good will my donation do? Here are just a few examples of the impact your donation could have:

  • $35 feeds a homeless family in shelter for one day.
  • $75 connects a homeless mother with an employment specialist who will help her write her first resume and begin a job search.
  • $100 provides a family a night of shelter.
  • $200 connects 2 families in shelter with a social worker who will help them save money, get the services they need, and create a plan to get them back into housing.
  • $300 ensures that an on-call worker is available 24/7 for one week to place homeless families in emergency shelter.
  • $500 connects 6 families living in shelter with a social worker who will help them save money, get the services they need, and create a plan to get them back into housing.
  • $1,200 is the average cost to resolve an at-risk family’s housing crisis, keeping them in their home and out of shelter.

Run for Housing

This year, I’m running my 7th Boston Marathon!

Seven is a lucky number and I have been lucky my entire life and have never faced homelessness. I cannot imagine telling my kids to pack what they can carry, we have to leave.

familyaid Boston, housing issuesChildren need to go to the same school each year and make those life-long friendships. Children need stability and security.

FamilyAid Boston has been helping families create this stable environment for 100 years. Together we can help these families.

I’m ready to run 26.2 miles in what ever weather mother nature throws our way on April 18th.

Can you make a donation and help a family who may be facing dark skies?

You can make your contribution HERE.

Run well my friends,

Andy

High Seas Running

New Years on the high seas

My wife and I decided that instead of gifts this year, we would give the family a cruise. Our girls are in college, with one graduating this spring. Once they graduate it will be a challenge to coordinate a vacation like this. If not now, when?

Treadmill Running at 21 knots

Being a runner, I had to run while I was on vacation. It wasn’t the most important thing on my mind, but I knew I had to get in a few miles.

Disney Magic, high seas running
Disney Magic

The Disney Magic has a large spa area that I had to walk through to get to the gym. The gym looked a quarter of the space of the spa. Gym was free, spa was not.

The treadmills were in front with large windows over looking the decks below and out to sea. This would seem like an ideal way to run on a treadmill: the open sea before you.

Unfortunately I was too tall and could not see far. I did have a good view of the deck, which was rather boring.

When we were leaving the pier in Jamaica, I decided to go work out. What an experience.

As the ship changed directions my body weight shifted as well. With the side thrusters I shifted one way. When the ship moved forward, I shifted again.

Running at cruising speed

It may have been my imagination, but my weight shifted as the ship went “full ahead.” It felt like the bow dipped down and then came up again as the ship settled at cruising speed. For a few minutes it felt like I was running downhill and then a few minutes later there was a small incline.

As the ship turned to make its way out to sea, I continued to feel the fluctuations of my body weight.

I think it takes more than a few days to get your “sea legs.” I never really got my treadmill “sea legs.”

Fun with Garmin

On our last day at sea I decided to have some fun with my Garmin watch. One deck had low traffic and was set up for runners and walkers. I was told a lap was about 1/3 of a mile.

My watch quickly locked onto satellites and I was off for my sea jog.

1 knot equals 1.15078 miles/hour. Assuming the ship was cruising at 21 knots, we were moving at 24.166 mph.

Usain Bolt, Jamaica
Me and Usain

I wanted to see how my running pace would look on my Garmin. I only ran around the ship twice, which should have been about 0.66 miles.

Garmin had me running 2.77 miles in 5:48 minutes! My pace was a blistering 2:05! My average moving speed was 28.8 mph. Take that Usain Bolt!

It was pretty hilarious when I looked at my watch.Details

I was probably running at a 9 minute pace, maybe less. I was on a cruise after all!

 

None of these numbers mean anything; the USOC wont be calling anytime soon, but it was a fun experiment.

Check out the two maps below. The first is a close of of the course I ran.

The wobbles are probably from when I was turning around on the ship.

The second map shows where we were in the Caribbean.

 

 

 

 

 

high seas running

high seas running

 

Castaway Cay 5K

Our last stop was Disney’s Castaway Cay in The Bahamas. I heard rumors that they had a 5K there for guests.

With the booming popularity of running it only made sense. The gym on the ship was much larger and had a lot more cardio equipment than our last cruise also.

On our first night out I went to Guest Services and signed up. Fantastic!

The morning we arrived in port they gathered the runners in one of the lounges. There were lots of families and people who did not look like runners.

There were about 80 people and it was easy to spot the runners. All week I had been looking at people’s shoes. Not everyone wears Brooks or Mizuno running shoes on vacation.

I struck up a conversation with a few guys who were runners. We were looking for water before the race. Disney had none! It was 85° and there wasn’t any stinking water! Mufasa would never let that happen. 😉

Pre-Race

They had everyone check in, get a bib and make sure they had their ship’s pass. When the time came they assembled us. At the exit we had our own lane to check out and disembark.

The race started about a mile from the ship and it was 85º. I thought they would use one of those trams to get us to the start. Nope. We walked a mile in 85º temps.

This was a cruise. I didn’t have a water bottle or power bar. You couldn’t fall down on the ship with out finding a place to get a drink of some sort. Who needed a water bottle?

I tried to eat a higher carb breakfast that morning. But who can resist breakfast sausage? I may have had an extra pastry for good measure.

At the start they lined us up. We only hung around for a few minutes before they let us go. Me and a few other guys tried to do some warm up jogging, but we didn’t have much time.

And they’re off!

I ran Boston in 2012 when it was 85º. This 5K came in at 3.03 miles, but they were the hottest 3.03 miles I have ever run! The humidity must have been 100%.

About 20 of us took the lead immediately. We wound down the bike path to the air strip. As we crossed the airstrip to the bike path on the other side, I could tell I was going to lose the lead pack. They looked too good and I felt too hot to keep up.

It was just a fun run.

I managed a respectable 7:11 pace for the first mile. At the entrance to the bike path loop they had their water stop set up. They said they had two water stops, but it was the same one twice. I never use a water stop for a 5K. It’s a 5K!

As I came out of the bike path loop I stopped for a cup of water, chatted with the Activities Director and had another cup. I then proceeded down the runway.

On the way back down the runway I made a second water stop. I grabbed a cup, joked with the Activities Director and had another cup. Then I ran the second loop of the bike path, but I ran it in the wrong direction! Oops!

Did I mention that it was freakin hot?

There were runners of all abilities and lack of abilities. When I was running down the runway some poor kid was hollering out like he was going to die. “Why am I doing this”, I hate running.”

I was concerned and amused all at the same time. No one dies at Disney! I could just imagine this kid’s dad telling him he was going to run a 5K. The kid may have even thought it was a good idea.

Running your first 5K in 85º is not a good idea. The kid probably had not trained and probably did not have the right clothes and shoes. I wasn’t properly prepared and I know what I’m doing!

castaway cay 5k, running

My mile 2 and 3 splits are not bad when you consider that I stopped for drinks and a quick chat with the Activities Director twice.

 

I was impressed to see that they had a real timing clock for the race. The bibs didn’t have a timing chip and they didn’t have any awards. it was a fun run.

Everyone did receive a Disney “medal” and a nice bib.

castaway cay 5K, 5k medalMy wife joked that it was the most expensive 5K I ever ran, but it did come with a free cruise!

Running on a cruise is a challenge. When you are in port you usually want to do things. Quite often these activities can involve walking, climbing or swimming. Sometimes you don’t really know how strenuous the next day may be.

While there is the urge to get in a few miles there is also the realization that the next day will be active. It’s a balancing act, kind of like walking on the ship itself.

Run well my friends!

Andy

Holiday Fun Run

The MRC Annual Holiday Fun Run

holiday fun run, christmasSome people dressed up in holiday costumes. Most of us wore our Halloween costumes of reflective vests, colorful clothing and head lamps.

We jogged through the streets of Melrose like horribly lost carolers looking for the next house party.

Our Social Committee put together a series of tasks for us to carry out. Some requiring physical dexterity, others mental dexterity.

I was appointed Team Captain by The Director. My main contributions were the team name and making sure no one got lost. Pretty odd given that I had little idea of where we were going!

At one stop we had to toss ping-pong balls into cups of water. We were also encouraged to drink beer which made it more difficult the second time you had to go and take aim.

At another stop we had to carry an un-cooked egg on a spoon and pass it to the next team member. At this stop we were invited to drink egg-nogg, spiked if we chose to.

Continue reading “Holiday Fun Run”

Christmas Spirit

Christmas spirit is a little short this year

christmas
dreamstime.com

This is our first year with both of our girls off to college. That probably has a lot to do with it. Even when the girls were teenagers we would get a tree within a week of Thanksgiving. Sometimes it took a week to get around to decorating it, but we never waited until December 14th to get our tree.

Sunday we finally got around to getting our tree. We felt we were running out of time. The kids will enjoy decorating it when they get home.

Our Charlie Brown Christmas Miracle

We’ve cut our own trees a few times but there never seemed to be a great selection out in the field. When we got home, the trees always seemed to have scoliosis.

We’re just not good at picking trees.

Continue reading “Christmas Spirit”