11 Apr Local couple takes on Boston
The Boston Marathon, one the state’s, and the nation’s, most historic and celebrated sporting events returns on Monday. Thousands of runners from the elites to the weekend warriors will tackle the legendary 26.2-mile course, and among them will be Sandwich residents Steve Farrell and Todd Robinson.
Farrell and Robinson will be two of the five runners for the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership charity team running their first Boston Marathon together side by side.
The two will also be married later this year, and it was important for them to run this race together in this very special year.
“Todd had really wanted to do this together in this year,” said Farrell. “We both applied, and were both able to get bibs for the team. We started training around Christmas, and, most importantly, started raising money.”
Farrell is director of communications for the charity whose efforts are aimed to prevent homelessness in Boston, and is very committed to the group for what he calls its “life changing work.” Robinson, a campus planner at MIT, may not be an employee, but he is deeply committed to the company’s work as well.
All five team members are required to raise at least $6,000 for the charity to qualify to run. According to Farrell, all five members have surpassed that. As of Sunday, Robinson had raised $7,295, while Farrell has garnered an impressive $10,500. “We have one runner who is over $13,000 already,” said Farrell. “We hope to be over $50,000 as a team by race day.”
This will be Farrell’s fourth marathon overall, and second Boston. This will be Robinson’s first time running Boston.
“I just feel lucky to be a part of this day,” said Robinson. “I love that the Patriots Day holiday is something that Boston and really all of Massachusetts and New England owns, and I love that everyone can come together for it. I love the reenactments in Lexington and Concord, the afternoon Red Sox game, and of course, the marathon. There is just so much going on in the Eastern Mass communities.”
Both are currently living in the city but get down to their Sandwich residence often, and are planning to move here fulltime in the near future. They have been part-time residents for two years and come down almost every weekend
Robinson is relatively new to the area, but Farrell has been coming to Sandwich since he was a kid. “My parents bought a home in Town Neck when I was a little kid and we’ve been coming here in the summers and the winters for a long time,” he said. “The people here are so supportive, and Todd and I have made a ton of friends here in Sandwich Village. They are supportive not only of the race but of us and newcomers to the town and they are really great neighbors. We are going to be here fulltime soon.”
But before any of that can happen, they have to survive Monday in the city. Their training has been grueling, including their 20-mile long training run. Recently, the duo discovered the Service Road, and have been using it to train. “We didn’t know much about it, but it turned out to be straight and hilly, and great for training” said Farrell. “It has a lot less traffic than Quaker Meetinghouse Road where we had been running a lot before.”
Farrell tends to do his solo training runs in the morning while Robinson is an evening runner, but they try to save their long runs to do together. Their goal is to run the race stride for stride, but Farrell is just a tick faster than Robinson. “Steve scales it back for me,” said Robinson. “But not by much.”
Farrell added that his partner has gotten much faster during their training. “I ran Boston in just over four hours last time,” said Farrell. “That is the goal again this time. I think it is a very attainable and realistic goal.”
Farrell was in the crowd during the infamous 2013 race and feels that, while the events of that day will always be a part of the marathon’s history, it doesn’t define it. “This is our city, and our race,” he said. “We all know what David Ortiz said after it happened, and sure, the events change things a little bit, but this is still a great event on its own, and what happened doesn’t define this race.”
Between the challenges the couple will face on Monday to the planning of their fall wedding, 2017 promises to be a very exciting year for Steve Farrell and Todd Robinson.
To donate to Steve and Todd’s efforts, visit their fundraising pages.