Boston Marathon Runners Take Inspiration from Home Base’s Mission

Home Base’s Athletic Trainer and Strength & Conditioning Specialist Chris Manzano ATC, CSCS, TSAC-F at the finish line.

The 124th Boston Marathon Virtual Experience was a tough challenge in an already challenging year, but 12 runners took inspiration from Home Base’s mission and committed to running virtually, raising more than $177,540 in critical funds to support Veterans, Service Members, and their Families.

The Boston Marathon was initially postponed from April to September due to the coronavirus pandemic, but in late May the Boston Athletic Association announced that the event would be held virtually. For runners who had spent months fundraising and were at the peak of their training, this was devastating news.

“With the significant budget shortfall Home Base has faced this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are incredibly thankful for this team’s dedication to our mission. These funds will enable us to keep our Brain Injury program running while we secure more permanent funding,” said Brigadier General (ret.) Jack Hammond, Executive Director of Home Base. “Running 26.2 miles is an accomplishment under any circumstances, but the personal discipline and commitment of running solo due to the pandemic speaks volumes regarding the character of these wonderful runners!”

Marine Corps Veteran Michael York ran 26.2 miles in support of Home Base’s mission.

Despite the added challenge of running alone, the Boston Athletic Association has stated that more than 15,000 runners, from 90 countries, and every state in the nation, completed the Boston Marathon this year. Among these runners were members of “Run for MGH,” the Massachusetts General Hospital Boston Marathon team. Since 1998, John Hancock has supported Massachusetts General Hospital by providing invitational Boston Marathon entries to athletes interested in running and fundraising for the hospital. Because of John Hancock’s generosity, Mass General received entries for the 2020 Boston Marathon and runners fundraised for Pediatric Cancer, Emergency Medicine, and Home Base.

Amid the ongoing pandemic, the funds raised by “Team MGH” are more important than ever before. In a recent Military Times article, troubling new data suggests military suicides have increased by as much as 20 percent this year compared to the same period in 2019, and some incidents of violent behavior have spiked due to the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic. During these difficult times, the funds and awareness raised by the Boston Marathon runners ensure Home Base’s critical mission can continue.

Please join Home Base in thanking and congratulating the following runners who completed the Boston Marathon virtually last month:

  • Christopher W. Manzano
  • Courtney J. Delaney
  • Dana Lopes
  • Erika M. Lundgren
  • Jenna M. Whelan
  • Katelyn E. Buress
  • Lucy H. Graves
  • Megan Gerling
  • Michael E. York
  • Stanley Schoenewald
  • Thomas E. Fournier
  • Tyler A. Sloan

Additionally, please join Home Base in thanking the following members who did not run virtually, but still raised invaluable funds:

  • Arianna V. Merullo
  • Johnny Jarnagin
  • Laura Oganowski
  • Alexandra Balukonis
  • Stacy Gove
  • Hayley Zukerberg