Emily Hanson, an athletic training major at Northeastern, made a promise to her father, Larry, that she’d join him in running the Boston Marathon before she ended college. Their family has long-supported the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the annual event — Emily as a volunteer and Larry as a runner — but this being her senior year, Hanson remained true to her word and trained hard to eventually lace ’em up on Marathon Monday.
“It’s my fifth year, all my friends are in Boston and I thought it would be the perfect time to say goodbye to Northeastern and run the marathon,” she said. “All the money I raise goes to cancer research. My four-hour run will never be as agonizing as battling cancer, but this is something I can do to help.”
Hanson will join a host of Northeastern students, faculty and staff running in the pack or volunteering along the 26.2-mile course on Monday.
Joani LaMachia, co-op coordinator in the international affairs program, has run to work from Arlington, Mass., as many as four mornings a week for the last three years. She said the routine has yielded many benefits, from keeping healthy and enjoying the outdoors to saving money and the environment by leaving her car at home.
Monday will mark her third time running the Boston Marathon, but it will be her first time having entered with a qualifying time, a point of pride earned by running the Towpath Marathon in Ohio. “It’s always inspiring to be a part of this race,” she said.
For David Nolan, associate clinical professor of physical therapy in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences, volunteering at the marathon has been an annual event for more than 10 years. This year, he’ll once again coordinate physical-therapy care at the finish-line tents to treat runners for a range of health issues — most commonly cramping, dehydration and either hypothermia or hyperthermia depending on the temperature that day.
Sophomore health sciences major Hailey Koop will be one of 15 members of the Student Alumni Association also working at the finish line to provide runners with tin-foil jackets at the end of the race to help them retain body heat. Koop has run the Walt Disney World Marathon in Florida the last two years, and she understands the importance of supporting runners throughout the race.
“Twenty-six miles can be rough, but encouraging words from a volunteer can make or break some of those miles. It’s going to be very rewarding to help out,” Koop said.