Currently viewing the tag: "Boston Marathon"

Monday is the Massachusetts Patriot’s Day holiday.  We’ll remember the early battles of the War for Independence and keep an eye on the results of the Boston Marathon.  There’s a nice group of Fletcher students who will run as members of the Tufts Marathon Challenge team.  Give a cheer for Dan Gallucci, Ken Hammond, Trevor McNeil, Elsa Palanza, Deirdre Roy, Jeffrey Smith, Dave Viola, and Roxane Wilber, all of whom have honed their running skills with help from marathon guru Coach Don Megerle, in exchange for raising $1000 for Tufts community outreach around nutrition and exercise.

Normal Admissions Office hours will prevail tomorrow (Friday) and Tuesday the 20th when, as it happens, admitted students who have been awarded a scholarship should submit their enrollment decision.  Any last questions?  Make sure you ask tomorrow or Tuesday morning, at the latest.

By Wednesday, we’ll have a good, but still incomplete, picture of the entering class, with the remaining enrollment decisions due May 1.

Also due May 1 are the responses from applicants offered a place on the waitlist.

To those waitlisted candidates who are anxiously monitoring the enrollment process, we haven’t forgotten you!  We’re going to need to track enrollment for a while longer, but at the same time, we’ll be figuring out who has remained on the waitlist.  We’ll also review the additional materials that many of you have sent in.  I’ll post updates at fairly regular intervals to let you  know where things stand.

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I haven’t had a chance to chat with Han Kim since he ran the Boston Marathon on Monday, but he told me by email that he was feeling good, if a bit worn out from the hills on the course.  In a burst of school pride, he pulled a Fletcher flag out of his pack when he reached the end of the race.  The photo is included in the Tufts web story about the Marathon, and was the front page of the Tufts site this week.  Here he is:

Congratulations, Han!

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Although there are many days in the calendar year when students are off but staffers are working, it’s rare for students to be in class while the administration is off.  Today is one of those days.  For Massachusetts, it’s the public holiday of Patriot’s Day.  The Admissions Office (like the rest of the University’s offices) is closed.  We’ll be back tomorrow, the day when most newly admitted students need to submit their enrollment decision.

Clear skies and cool temperatures, today.  Great weather for a marathon!

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First-year MALD student Han Kim is one of those great Fletcher guys.  Very involved in the community (Student Council, Admissions interviewer, etc.) and always eager to help.  This week, he offered to contact all of the incoming students from his home country of Korea, despite the fact that (1)He had just finished  hosting two newly-admitted students here for the Open House, and (2)He has told me that he’s swamped with course work, and (3)He’s preparing to run in the Boston Marathon on Monday!

I asked him to describe his preparation for the Marathon, and his participation in the President’s Marathon Challenge. The PMC fields a team of 200 Tufts students, staff, faculty, alumni, parents, and friends from around the country, who train for the Marathon while raising funds to support nutrition, medical, and fitness programs.  Here’s Han’s story:

Just a few days till the Boston Marathon.  April 20, 2009 is the day I test my physical and mental endurance.  I am looking forward to it.

I started running marathons because I wanted to keep fit and, also, to bond with my father, who was also a runner.  Running a marathon gives you a feeling of freedom and, oddly, flight.  I can still remember my first bite at a half marathon. It was a snowy day and my result was not fabulous, but it felt good.  My muscles were aching, but I could not get rid of my smile — I had completed it.

My first full marathon was even more fulfilling.  At the start, I was not in a good condition, because I had been drinking with my buddies and I overslept. As I started to run, it was painful, but I soon felt better.  With all the cheering and my body recovering, my energy started to build, so much so that I had to work just to control my pace.  I struggled after the half line, getting cramps in my legs and my neck.  The other runners helped me — they gave me a Korean version of Bengay, and told me not to raise my legs so high.  With their help, I completed the challenge.  I finished with a time of 4:18 — O.K. for a first try.  Considering that I still had a slight hangover and had slept only four hours, I was happy with my result.

This experience really changed my view of the marathon and of people.  Many think of marathon running as a lonely sport.  I found out it was not.  Pacing with other runners, helping and encouraging others, even physically supporting them, it is a sport of cooperation.  I saw runners stop to help others apply medicine, share their nutrition snacks, and push people from the back to get up a steep hill.  Yes, they were keeping their own running time in mind, but they still chose to offer help. It was an inspiring sight for me.

Another reason why I like running marathons is that you get to RUN through a city with no traffic.  How awesome is that!!

At Fletcher, I have been practicing with the Tufts PMC team and also on my own.  I heard about the President’s Marathon Challenge during Orientation from President Bacow.  I thought, “Hmmm.  I am in Boston.  I should do it!  When will I ever get another chance?”  I signed up, practiced with the team, raised my required donation, practiced some more, and befriended many other teammates.  I’m finally going to run with them in a few days. The team members are great and Coach Don Megerle is awesome! This year we have 10 Fletcher students running, including me.  I am sure they are all well prepared, and we are enthusiastic to run for Tufts and, of course, our beloved Fletcher.

I am personally pretty confident at this time, but still the burden of the Boston Marathon (known to be one of the most challenging of all international marathons) is still with me.  My time on my last long run of 20 miles was 3:20, so I am targeting 4 hours for Monday, but we will have to see.  I am a bit sad that Fletcher is having classes that day, because I will be missing classes and because my friends will not be able to come and cheer.  Nonetheless, I have waited for this day anxiously and I hope to do my best.

I hope you will decide to come to Fletcher and run with the team and me.  It will be an amazing experience — I promise you that.

Take care, and wherever you go to graduate school, be active and experience life!  You only have one chance (unless, depending on your religion, you may have more).  Make it worth it!!!

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