Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital April 13, 2012
For most of the nation, next Monday, April 16, will be a normal Monday. Here in Massachusetts, however, we’ll observe Patriots’ Day (a civic holiday commemorating the first battles of the Revolutionary War). And in Boston, we’ll celebrate Marathon Monday.
This Monday, more than 25,000 runners, strengthened by months (sometimes years) of training, will power their way through the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon route. Among these dedicated athletes, 56 runners will race for Team Brigham – raising funds for community health programs in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).
A few facts about the Boston Marathon: It is the world’s oldest annual marathon (started in 1897). For those who live in the neighborhoods along the marathon’s course – which starts in Hopkinton, continues through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton and Brookline, then finishes in Boston’s Copley Square – it’s also a community tradition. Boston’s marathon is the most widely-viewed sporting event in New England – with about 500,000 spectators lining the route each year, cheering on runners and providing them free water and snacks.
The Boston Marathon is also one of the most prestigious marathons, attracting runners from all over the world. To earn an official race bib, runners must have finished another marathon within a tight qualifying time – or agree to raise thousands of dollars (this year about $5000 each) for a designated charitable organization, such as BWH. (In some cases, runners do both – get a qualifying time and raise funds.)
We may be biased, but we think BWH is a particularly fitting charity for the Boston Marathon. We carry similar traditions: Like the Boston Marathon, we are among the oldest, most respected of our kind – but we also cherish and continually strengthen our roots in our neighboring communities.
Some background on BWH: Our current hospital is the result of a merger of four of Boston’s oldest and most esteemed medical institutions: The Boston Lying-In Hospital (one of the nation’s first maternity hospitals, opened in 1832); the Free Hospital for Women (founded in 1875); the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (opened in 1913); and the Robert Breck Brigham Hospital (founded in 1914). Continuing the history of excellence of these originating hospitals, BWH year after year earns a spot on the U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals.
In addition to this long-term commitment to health care excellence, we’ve continued our commitment to our Mission Hill neighborhood. Team Brigham runners are raising funds to support beneficial community health initiatives, including the Student Success Jobs Program for Boston public school students; Connecting Hope, Assisstance and Treatment (CHAT) program for low-income women with breast cancer; and the Passageway domestic violence intervention program.
And so to our inspirational runners, we say: Go, Team Brigham, Go! May your legs stay strong and the miles pass quickly. We appreciate your hard work – and all the good it will do for our shared community.
p.s. It’s not too late to support Team Brigham and Boston community health programs. Learn about our runners and how you can make a donation.
– Linda W