Kathy Green, 55
Retired Police Officer
Long Beach, Calif.
I ran Boston last year for the MEB Foundation as a charity fundraiser, and I was stopped at Commonwealth and Mass Ave. when the tragic events occurred. Thanks to the B.A.A., I, along with the other 5,600 or so runners who didn’t make it to the finish, have been invited back this year.
I began running about five years ago during a difficult time in my life, when I faced several concurrent personal challenges — I was fighting discrimination at work, and my husband was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. I started running when my doctor said it’s an effective way to relieve stress and depression. I found Meb Keflezighi — his life story in “Run to Overcome” of overcoming spirit, courage, determination, and integrity was and continues to be a great source of inspiration. With the help of Meb’s inspiration, I overcame these challenges, and my husband is a double-lung transplant recipient. I made a commitment to run my miles for something bigger than me, to give back to someone who has influenced and inspired me so much — and that person is Meb Keflezighi. My marathon PR is 4:17 at the Los Angeles Marathon.
Why are you running the 2014 Boston Marathon?
I’m running 2014 Boston to finish what I started last year, but more importantly, to unite and show the world that after last year’s events, we as a nation and as a people cannot be damaged — our human spirit and character brings us all closer than before. We shall overcome. I also want to show my support and admiration for all those affected and for the city that was so overwhelmingly strong and supportive.
What part of the course/event are you most looking forward to?
I look forward to the finish and all it represents. However, the Wellesley College scream tunnel is a significant place that I look forward to — last year when I ran past, I spotted the painted sign the college girls had made and stopped to take a picture with them. That photo is quite special.
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What does “Boston Strong” mean to you?
Boston Strong to me represents what I saw, felt and experienced the entire time I was in the fine city of Boston: warm, friendly, caring people, who, upon acts of the unthinkable, opened their hearts and their homes for anyone in need. The strength and determination was incredible. I will never forget the woman who walked out of her home, arms loaded with jackets, and began passing them out to us runners stopped along the course in front of her home. I remember her so well — I am going to run and locate her to return the jacket she gave me and thank her. That type of action became the symbolic memory that I have for Boston. I can’t wait to return “home.”
Who is coming out to support you this year?
My husband, Gary, will be there to support me, as he was last year!
What is your race-day goal?
My race day goal isn’t about time; it’s about sharing in a celebration of the human spirit. I want to take the time to enjoy, to acknowledge, to thank others and to finish. (Of course, if this can all be accomplished in under 4:40, that would be great too.)