BY VICTORIA MESCALL
On Nov. 8, 2017, the Sacred Heart community received an email from John Chalykoff, the Dean of the Jack Welch College of Business, searching for an individual to represent Sacred Heart in the running of the 122nd Boston Marathon.
The University was presented with the opportunity to send a representative to the Marathon, being held on April 16, 2018, with one bib and no qualification time required.
The bib comes to Sacred Heart courtesy of Todd Cassler, a member of the Board of Visitors for the Jack Welch College of Business and an employee of John Hancock, a major sponsor of the Boston marathon.
Math Professor Bernadette Boyle was then randomly selected from the 17 entries received requesting to represent Sacred Heart in this year’s Boston Marathon.
According to the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) website, “To qualify for the Boston Marathon, athletes must meet time standards which correspond to age and gender. […] The qualifying times below are based on each athlete’s age on the date of the Boston Marathon.”
The exception to the time qualification is if the runner is participating in the Boston Marathon Official Charity Program.
“Each individual who runs the Boston Marathon for one of our official charities is required to raise a minimum of $5,000,” said the BAA. “Running for one of the Boston Marathon Official Charities not only provides [runners] with a guaranteed entry into the Boston Marathon, but it also provides the opportunity to support a cause that is important to you.”
When the bib donation was announced, Cassler recommended that the selected runner set a minimum fundraising goal of $5,000. However, the average amount fund raised last year for charity runners was $11,600.
Sacred Heart will be the beneficiary of all the funds that are raised. The money will be used to provide University-wide scholarships to our students, as a result of a University-wide fundraising campaign.
Professor Boyle has been a runner since she was in high school, where she competed in cross-country and track at Notre Dame High School in Fairfield, CT. She also ran in the nationally ranked Division I cross-country and track teams at Providence College in Providence, RI.
As a lifelong runner, Boyle has completed nine half marathons, one a year for the last nine years. Her in finishing times have been between 1:43 and 1:57. Also, she has competed in several 5K and 10K races during the year.
Boyle also currently serves as the faculty mentor of the SHU cross country and track teams, and occasionally runs with the team and coaches.
Professor Boyle will be running to represent Sacred Heart along the 26.2-mile trek on April 16, 2018.