Boston Marathon Faces of the Field: Michael Melia

It was absolutely the right call, but I was still heartbroken at the cancellation of the “in-person” Boston Marathon.

In April, our plan was to launch our “Faces of the Field” campaign and highlight some runners you’d see cross the finish line of the 124th Boston Marathon. Obviously, the Marathon is now virtual, so we asked our group to tell us their 2020 Virtual Boston Marathon feels, plans, and expectations! Everyone meet Michael!

“I had been working really hard towards what would be my first marathon, but more importantly, an incredible group of supporters has helped me raise over $10,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. One piece of good news I received over the summer is that I’m now officially five years cancer-free. I largely have Dana-Farber to thank for that, so supporting them in any way I can is very important to me.

My “training” (and I’m unfortunately using that word loosely) for the virtual race has honestly not been as robust as it was back in the winter. Oppressive heat, mask requirements, and not being able to run in a group had sapped some of my motivation. It seems crazy to me that I was running 18+ miles a few months ago. But you know what? With all the support I’ve received, I feel like I need to hold up my end of the bargain. Therefore, my PLAN (which I’m allowed to back out of!) is to still cover the distance. I literally have no idea how long it will take me. Do I alternate between running and walking every mile? Do I split it up over three days? Do I use a car? Ok, maybe not that last one. But point being, I want to do something to commemorate the weekend. I don’t have an official route planned out, but I’ll probably stay local in the Salem/Beverly/Marblehead area. Hopefully, I’ll see some friendly faces along the way who can hand me water and snacks from a safe distance. It’s a weird situation, let’s have some fun and see what I can do. I hope we’re all able to cross the finish line on Boylston someday soon.”