By: Jake E. Marcus
Good day all, it’s been a while since I posted on here and quite a lot has happened. For starters, the Patriots and Red Sox both became world champions, but even if I failed to write for just three months this fact would have been true. I’ll try to keep this short with quick updates on my running and also our fundraising and upcoming event this March 14th, 2019 at a new venue, Towneship, in North Easton, MA.
In April 2017, I ran the London Marathon and I highly recommend this race to any runners. This was probably my second favorite marathon I’ve run in besides the Boston Marathon. I ended up running a 2hour45minute marathon and it was a nice way to see all of the main sights of London. Additionally, my parents were there and we were able to enjoy a nice trip before I ended up taking the Bar Exam the Summer of 2017.
After London, I took a bit of a hiatus from running due to the Bar Exam and starting out my new job as an attorney down here in Miami. However, I got back on the horse last Spring and trained for the Vermont Marathon in May 2018. Unfortunately, I pulled my soleus muscle (elusive muscle located inside the calf) just FIVE DAYS before race day! It was the first time I’ve been sidelined from a marathon due to injury and while it was a little discouraging especially because the injury occurred so soon before race day, I knew the focus was to get healthy and continue towards my goals.
It took a few weeks to get back to training and I ended up signing up for the Savannah Marathon to run with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. My only goal for this race was to qualify for the Boston Marathon as I hope to return and run that race in 2020. I wanted to stay healthy so took the training pretty easy. I think I got a little cocky and thought I could hit the qualifying time of three hours on minimal training. That, and training in Miami during the summer months is far from optimal for distance runners. I did hit a few couple 20-mile runs, but they were a serious struggle and during the rest of the week I kept runs to 6-8 miles at most. Due to all of this, I ended up missing the qualifying time and ran a 3:11.
It was a humbling experience to not cruise in with a time that I am more accustomed to so I have adjusted my training, diet, and hydration regimen and am zoning in on another marathon this upcoming April. On a side note, my girlfriend Sarah ran a great half marathon in Savannah setting a new PR and our committee Member, Lisa Branigan, did great in her Spin 4 a Cure with Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation this past November.
I am aiming to run the Nashville Marathon at the end of April and the training has been strong so far. In the past four weeks I have hit 68 miles, 49 miles (busy watching Patriots Super Bowl), 62 miles, and 58 miles. Again, my goal is simply to qualify for the Boston Marathon and I’m confident with proper training and better hydration in the Miami “winter” months, I will aim to be more successful. I also hope to do the Boston Run to Remember on Memorial Day Weekend through Team Challenge.
It is funny timing for this blog post because I hit a long run of 16 miles last night. I was planning on going for a long run, but there was something that happened yesterday that might have motivated me quite a bit further. When I went to Publix for grocery shopping yesterday I was wearing a “Boston Strong” t-shirt. I didn’t think much of it of course, as it is just what I decided to wear that day. However, as I walked down an aisle a lady was staring at my shirt for more than a few seconds, with her eyes welling up a bit, and then said she hasn’t seen that slogan in a while. I was on my phone at the time but then I realized this was no casual conversation as she went on to explain that she was a victim of the senseless Boston Marathon bombings. She showed me her hand, which had underwent many surgeries and her lower leg also had a laceration as a result of the horrid bombing. Her son is running the Boston Marathon and she gave me a hug at the end of the conversation.
It’s no coincidence I ran 16 miles that night and my motivation to qualify for Boston has been immensely intensified after this interaction that really took me aback. While I run with the Crohn’s and Colitis uniform, the lady named Martha and her husband, as well as the many victims from that terrible day in April 2013, hold a special place in my heart.
I would be remiss if I did not also mention the recent story of the most dedicated Team Challenge participant, Leigh Stein. We've met Leigh multiple times through the half marathons and marathons we have participated in but since the Squirrel Hill Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, our hearts have been with Leigh who lost her father in that tragic incident. The Savannah Marathon took place a week after the shooting and while many came together that weekend to raise funds and awareness for Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, everybody was thinking of Leigh as we run not so much to beat each other, but to be with each other.
In the past couple of years, my father, Stephen Marcus, who was the initial impetus of our fundraising missions, has been very helpful in orchestrating a lot of our coordinating for the upcoming March event. However, he has had a few setbacks as he had a quintuple bypass surgery in December 2017. Since then, he has been on a very big health kick by doing a strict diet called the China Study regimen, which is mostly plant-based and removes any processed foods. While his health has been better across the board, he’s had a recent Crohn’s Disease flare-up. Even though we initially were drawn to raise awareness and find a cure for Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis due to my father's battle with the disease, our mission has since shifted to the teens, pre-teens, and their families. My father initially was diagnosed with Colitis from ages 13-21 but went into remission until age 55, so has been able to deal with it well, so our focus is on the younger generation affected.
Behind the scenes, Team Intestinal Fortitude has been hard at work led by Lisa Branigan, Carol Lang, Isobel Wilson, and Carol Augustyniak, who have been working hard to get everything organized for our 9th Annual Event at Towneship in North Easton, MA at 6:30pm. Dave and Karen Howe and co-owners Chandra and Brian Gouldrup, as well as the entire Towneship team have been incredibly generous in donating their restaurant for the night. Other members such as Jonathan Adams, Sean Grover, Stephen, and Tim Savard have been helpful in getting everything together before this event roughly a month away. You won’t want to miss this event at the newest upscale restaurant in the South Shore area. Tickets are available to the left of this page under “Purchase Tickets.”
For now, we are hard at working getting the best auction and raffle items, as well as ensuring the logistics of the event are all aligned properly to bring the best product to you on March 14th. We will see you all there!