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April 17, 2008
For runner, 13 is lucky
That's how many marathons Nick Hinsley will run to help Children's Hospital
|Nick Hinsley, an eighth grade teacher at Ross A. Lurgio Middle School, will run 13 marathons over the next 13 months to help raise money for Children's Hospital in Boston. |
|Carolyn Dube photo|
BEDFORD, New Hampshire (STPNS) -- Nick Hinsley may be turning 40 next year, but he doesn?t plan to agonize about being classified as ?over the hill.? Instead he plans to take it all in stride ? literally.
To celebrate his March birthday, the 39-year-old middle school science teacher plans to run 13 marathons over the next 13 months. The icing on the cake is that he?ll be raising money for Children?s Hospital in Boston, with a goal of a cool $25,000 over the next year.
Hinsley began running marathons eight years ago and has done more than two a year, completing 17 since 2001.
It is in Boston, in one of the most world-famous marathons, where he?ll begin the race portion of his journey, on Monday, April 21.
Hinsley said this idea came to him last year and he got the ball rolling on the fundraising aspect of the year of marathons mid year in 2007 when he spoke with representatives from the Miles for Miracles at the hospital.
He is no stranger to raising money for Children?s Hospital through running, in fact he?s run Boston the past four years as a fund-raiser for the hospital, raising about $3,000 a year.
But making the 13-marathon fundraiser even more special, he said, is that he is running in honor of a student at Lurgio Middle School who was diagnosed with leukemia last year.
He is running for Zach, who cannot come to school and essentially can?t leave his home right now, Hinsley said.
?I?m dedicating all my runs to Zach,? he said, to ?give him the opportunity to experience something outside his house right now.?
And, according to Hinsley?s web site run4chb.wordpress.com, he is dedicating his Boston Marathon to Tyler, a 4-year-old at Children?s Hospital who suffers from a rare congenital heart defect.
He said he?s updates Zach on his training and he?ll be in contact with him before and after his marathons and Zach, and anyone else who wants to, can track Hinsley during the marathon by going to http://www.bostonmarathon.org/BostonMarathon/112thMarathon.asp on race day, April 21. His bib number is 1807 and he starts in the first heat at 10 a.m. By entering that information interested parties can find Hinsley en route.
He said training and running for Zach and keeping him updated is something else for the teenager to focus on, instead of his illness.
?The reality is, I get to stop,? Hinsley said. ?But these kids will continue to struggle. The pain and suffering I go through (in the next 13 months) is incomparable to what they?re facing.?
Though he?ll be traveling all over the country to run the races, paying the travel expenses and the $1,500 in race entry fees himself, it?s worth it, he said, to be running for such a worthy cause.
Hinsley has been training for Boston for the past 18 weeks. He?s been writing about his journey on www.run4chb.wordpress.com and it is also there where people can go to find out more about how to donate Miles for Miracles in honor of him.
He?s been running 90 to 100 miles a week, tapering down mileage in the past couple of weeks to get ready for Boston. His big week, where he hit 107 miles, included his longest training run yet, of 24 miles, which is 2.2 miles shorter than a marathon.
Hinsley mostly trains by himself, running in all types of weather at all hours. With two young sons, Quinn, 4, and Ian, 2, and his schedule as a teacher and track and cross country coach, he will sometimes get up at 4 a.m. in order to get in a long run.
His wife Karen works at Children?s Hospital, which is how he found out about the Miles for Miracles, and though she was away, in Ghana for work for two weeks, he has managed to miss only one day of training in the last 18 weeks.
?We just make it work,? Hinsley said.
He?ll get his long runs in while the boys are sleeping or in child care or when Karen is home. While she was away, the schedule was a little tighter, but he has friends who were willing to help him out and watch the boys so he could go running.
Now that he?s built up to his first marathon, his training program will change a little over the next year. He won?t go out to race every marathon he?s running, it would be very difficult to do so, he said, with little time to build up and taper in a month?s time. So some of the marathons will essentially be his long runs in training for ones he would like to be competitive in.
The hardest one, he expects, will be New Jersey, which falls only two weeks after Boston.
?The first 20 (miles) are easy,? Hinsley said. ?It?s the last six that are the challenge.?
Hinsley is looking not only for donations from people who will help him reach his goal, but also for corporate sponsors who he will display on the back of his T-shirts while he races. He already has Hannaford, Therapy Designed for You and Insty-Prints as corporate sponsors and he?s looking for more.
He said Hannaford has said it would do a book exchange for him, where people can donate books and then the books are sold for a dollar or two and the money would go to support the cause.
Additionally, Therapy Designed for You has offered Hinsley post race massages to help keep him in healthy running shape for the duration of his journey.
All contributions are tax deductible, Hinsley said and more information can be found on his website www. run4chb.wordpress.com. Or e-mail him at email@example.com. Checks should be made out to Children?s Hospital Boston.
Hinsley?s journey originally began as 12 marathons in 12 months, but when he realized the last one would be in March, just a month before Boston, he extended it, though not because Boston is his favorite course.
?I hate Boston, it?s miserable,? he said of the 26.2-mile course that starts in Hopkinton, Mass. ?But, it?s Boston.?
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Nicholas Hinsley by the numbers
Marathons he has run: 17 in seven years
Marathons he?ll run in the next 13 months: 13
Miles per week in training: Averaged 90-100
Pairs of shoes he?ll go through: at least 13 (he?s averaging a pair per month)
Miles in a marathon: 26.2
Longest run he?ll do: 33 miles (Jay Mountain Marathon tacks on seven miles)
Best Marathon time: 2:53 at Boston last year
Longest mileage he?s willing to do on a treadmill: 15 miles
Donations he hopes to collect: $25,000
Entry fee total for 13 marathons: $1,500
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