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14 of the 24 team members at the marathon kick-off in November

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The Day is Almost Here: Running the Distance for Suicide Prevention in the 118th Boston Marathon
In 2008, Nicole Costa, 5K team captain, SafePlace facilitator, and now board member, approached us about running the Boston Marathon for Samaritans. With no idea as to what this would end up meaning to our organization over the years, we replied - "sure!" Though we were excited for the opportunity at the time, we could not imagine that over the next seven years the marathon would generate over $560,000 for Samaritans' life-saving services, growing each year in its fundraising goal and number of runners.
Enjoying a well-deserved break

In November, this year's team met for the first time as strangers in our training room. On Monday, they will be taking on the Boston Marathon as a team. "We Run Together," the John Hancock Charity Runner's slogan for the 118th Boston Marathon, truly encapsulates the Samaritans' marathon team's efforts this year and our own mission of reminding people they are not alone. Every day, we have been inspired by the 24 committed runners, many who are survivors, both as individuals and as a team. It has been a joy to see them running together, fundraising together, and for many, healing together.

Many of us have taken to reading their
Running 20 miles
stories on Crowdrise on a regular basis, and it's hard not to notice that our team of 24 is up on the fundraising leader board with teams that have hundreds of runners participating on their behalf.  We are humbled by their commitment to our mission and their ability to keep training through the rough winter we just faced.

It takes a special type of person to make this commitment - we found 24 of them. They also have found the courage to share their personal stories, which are often filled with sadness and loss. They have consistently exceeded their individual and team fundraising goals. To say we are proud of this team would be an
Saturday morning long run

We're not the only ones who have noticed how amazing these individuals are. In addition to the hundreds of inspiring notes we have received along with the donations towards their run, they have been written about in: The Cambridge Chronicle, Wicked Local, The Anderson Valley Post, East Bay Newspaper, Woburn Patch, Jamaica Plain Patch, Acton Patch, Somerville Patch, Concord Patch, Melrose Patch and Arlington Patch, not to mention several videos and print-only newspapers that we cannot link to here.

On Monday, we'll be at mile 17 cheering on each runner as they head towards the finish line. If you would like to join us, please remember that there will be extra security measures this year so please read the spectator information provided by the B.A.A. before joining us. If you would like to track the runners from home, text the athelete's bib number (listed below) to 345678 to access the B.A.A.'s mobile text alert system, where you can sign up to receive text message updates whenever one of our runners crosses the starting line, 10K, half marathon and 30K marks.
Peter and Marc during a long run  

The team's bib numbers are as follows: Norman Miniger: 922; Dick Jardine: 20056; Kate Skidmore: 29650; Marc Bellanger: 34547; Robert (Bobby) Christo: 29658; Sarah Duncan: 33279; Erin Wallace: 34502; Marcus Goldhaber: 29655; Whitney Leonard: 29653; Nancy Rappaport: 29651; Kacy Cerasoli: 29659; Natalie Chouinard: 29661; Nicole Costa: 27803 ; Catherine (Katy) Erker: 31896; Lauren Gablinske: 29657; Kim Gagnon: 29656; Helene Newberg: 32763; Meghan Shanahan: 32992; Leslie Unger: 32219;  Michelle Goldhaber: 29654; Kevin Quinlan: 33415; Peter Mongeau: 34335; Tricia Pierson: 29652;  

Honorary team member Peter Gould: 32761.

Wicked Local Staff Photo/Sam Goresh -
Bobby on one of his last runs before the marathon 

Carrie Asselin, one of the strongest fundraisers on our team was recently injured, but we look forward to having her join us to cheer on the other runners. You can also follow our runners on race day by following Samaritans on Twitter. And if you're on the course somewhere besides mile 17, keep your eyes open for our team member's in their bright yellow uniforms!

Not all of us are able to make the commitment to train and run a marathon, but we can each honor these individuals and the memories of those they've loved who have been lost to suicide by supporting them today:
We are so thankful to all of our supporters that helped our team get to where they are today:


A special shout out also goes to Kathy Rolfe, who is a member of the B.A.A. and 2014 Marathon Race Committee and provided Nicole Costa with her bib number this year.
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