April 16 marks the 122nd annual Boston Marathon, and this year, two Wellesley Public School teachers will join the roughly 30,000 other runners from the Boston area and afar, seeing to both achieve personal goals and enjoy the camaraderie the famous event.
The marathon, which runs directly through Wellesley, attracts about 500,000 spectators each year, and having teachers and other community members running the marathon generates town spirit and pride. Running this year for her fourth time is middle school reading specialist and high school track coach Ms. Cassie Short, accompanied by high school teaching assistant Ms. Lauren Dobish, who will be running for her first time.
Short will run for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society while Dobish is running to support the American Red Cross. They have each pledged to raise $10,000 towards their respective charities.
“The fundraising piece is a big part of what I’m running for. I’m very excited to be representing a bigger cause, and although I don’t have a personal tie to it, I appreciate the fact that they’re a great organization and that they help so many people,” said Dobish.
Dobish decided to run the marathon a little bit late in the sign up process, but is glad she made the decision. After cheering on close friends who have run it before, she is eager to experience the marathon for herself.
“I’ve been living Boston for five years, and I live right on the course at mile 22, so I’ve always really wanted to do it, and a lot of my best friends have run before so I kind of felt like it was my turn,” said Dobish.
Dobish’s main focus for the day is to finish the race and enjoy herself.
“I’m just really hoping to enjoy the day, and I’ve heard how crazy it is along the course. My family and friends are coming too, so it’ll be great to see them along the course, and hopefully I’ll feel strong and run the 26.2,” she said.
Dobish, who does practice runs on weekends with the Heartbreak Hill Running Store and follows a daily training schedule, says that although training is hard, the support of her family and the cause she is running for motivates her.
“It definitely has been hard, and there are days when I get home from work and I just don’t want to run. Finding the time to carve out of your life is difficult, but then you think about how you’re running for a cause and all of these people are supporting you along the way so that has been helpful in actually getting me outside to run,” said Dobish.
Short has similarly had to juggle training, work, and coaching the track team, which is somewhat of a challenge given the time each activity requires, but she carves out time to do it all.
“Training is definitely vigorous, and it is a lot of work on top of teaching and coaching. But it’s something that I love to do, so I make the time for it,” Short said.
Short, who has run three Boston Marathons and one Bar Harbor Marathon in the past, is focused on getting a personal record on April 16 while enjoying the environment.
“I hope to get a personal best, but on that course it can be challenging, so I just hope to have fun with it and be inspired by everyone else around me. My best time is 3 hours and 26 minutes, and I’m hoping to run right around there,” said Short.
Growing up, Short never imagined that a marathon was in her playing field, though she loved watching the Boston Marathon as a kid.
“In high school, I was a sprinter, but as I got older, I realized that you can’t really sprint on your own, so I had to to learn to do miles. Living and growing up around Boston, though, I’ve always wanted to do the Boston Marathon, and now I just kind of have that marathon itch,” she said.
According to both Short and Dobish, the long-anticipated day will just be about personal growth and enjoying a new experience.
“I’m just really excited because I’ve never run that far in my life, so the day is just going to be about experiencing what running the Boston Marathon is. I just can’t wait to be a part of that atmosphere,” said Dobish.