Every year, a diverse group of runners from across the country join together to form the esteemed Back on My Feet Boston Marathon Team, Team Running Home. This April 15, team members will descend upon Boston from as far away as Georgia to run one of the world’s premier marathons while raising money and awareness for the Boston chapter.

As of today, the team has raised over $44,002 towards their collective goal of $81,000. We’ll be highlighting runners from Team Running Home until April 15 so everyone can get to know this phenomenal team a little bit and cheer them on from near and far. I asked each runner to answer three short questions about themselves, and I’ll share those with you here. You can help support the 2013 Team Running Home here.

This week’s featured runner is … me. Bridget Horne. This is my fifth marathon, but my very first Boston and I could not be more excited. Here’s a quick intro to who I am and why I’m running the 2013 Boston Marathon for Back on My Feet.

I’ve been a part of Back on My Feet since July 2009. I first joined the organization as a Non Res member in my hometown of Philadelphia. Less than a year later, I found myself moving to Boston around the same time that BoMF was launching the Boston chapter. I was soon hired as the Director of Communications and Corporate Relations, and have dedicated not only my volunteer hours, but my career to Back on My Feet ever since.

2012 was a particularly tough year for me with a few serious health scares (two major stomach surgeries within 11 months) and some personal issues that turned my life upside down. Throughout it all, BoMF and my running helped me keep my head up and stay sane (usually).Today, I’m proud to say that I’m cancer survivor with an officially clean bill of health who is running the 2013 Boston Marathon — I never dreamed that would happen six months ago! Back on My Feet has changed the course of my life and I am proud to be a member of this year’s Team Running Home. When I’m not “BoMFing” you can usually find me on the beach (come on, summer), curled up with a good book, or spending some time with my good friends.

Q1: If you had to sum yourself up in 140 characters or less, what would you say?
A1: Loving of running, words, and late night dance parties.

Q2: What does running mean to you?
A2: Running has literally been a life saver for me. During the days I was too sick to get out of bed, I longed to feel the pavement beneath my feet (I keep reminding myself of that when I’m out there cursing winter on a 20-mile training run). While I’ve been going through personal issues, it’s helped me make sense of my life and gave me concrete, attainable goals during a time when I felt like I was spinning out of control – like running the Boston Marathon. It keeps me fit; it keeps me happy; and perhaps most importantly, it allows me to eat all the pizza and donuts I want without feeling guilty.

Q3: Why Back on My Feet?
A3: I’ve been a part of Back on My Feet for almost four years and can honestly say it has changed my life. It’s brought some of the most amazing people into my life and formed lasting friendships. It’s showed me that there are second chances and that everyone is deserving of them. It’s taught me as much about myself as it has about the issues and challenges of homelessness and addiction. I will forever be thankful for what Back on My Feet has been for me.

I’ve currently raised 45% of my fundraising goal of $5,400. Help me get to the finish line!

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Knocking out some snowy miles with my favorite trail running partner, Roo!

Every year, a diverse group of runners from across the country join together to form the esteemed Back on My Feet Boston Marathon Team, Team Running Home. This April 15, team members will descend upon Boston from as far away as Georgia to run one of the world’s premier marathons while raising money and awareness for the Boston chapter.

As of today, the team has raised over $34,000 towards their collective goal of $81,000. We’ll be highlighting runners from Team Running Home until April 15 so everyone can get to know this phenomenal team a little bit and cheer them on from near and far. I asked each runner to answer three short questions about themselves, and I’ll share those with you here. You can help support the 2013 Team Running Home here.

This week’s featured runner is Brian Cotter.  Brian hails to us from the Back on My Feet D.C. chapter. We are always thrilled to welcome fellow Back on My Feet family members from across the country to our Boston team and are honored that Brian chose the Boston Marathon to make his miles count for more than just distance.

Q1: If you had to sum yourself up in 140 characters or less, what would you say?
A2: Native New Jersey-an who pumps his fists, not his gas. Joined BoMF La Casa (D.C.) in January 2011 and have been a part of the org. ever since.

Q2: What does running mean to you?
A2: Running gives me a great opportunity to socialize with new people in a new city while staying fit. There is nothing like going out for a long Saturday run with a great group of people who take your mind off the next 20 miles!

Q3: Why Back on My Feet?
A3: I heard about BoMF when Ann Mahlum was nominated as a CNN Hero (video here) for starting this organization. I thought it would be a great way to get out there and help people vice the traditional way of just running 5k, 10k etc. that donated to a number of different causes.

Brian has currently raised $2,640 out of his goal of $5,000. Let’s help get him across the finish line! You can support Brian’s Boston Marathon campaign here.

Go, Brian, go!

Go, Brian, go!

Name: Richard

Age: 55

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Branch of the military: Army, Navy and Marine Core for 16 years; Philippines was his favorite place to be stationed

Hometown: Florida and Ohio. Richard hitchhiked from Santa Barbara in the late 70′s to get to Indianapolis

Favorite Color: Teal

Favorite Movie: Forest Gump

Favorite Music: New Age like Enya, it helps him relax

Favorite place to visit: San Antonio

If Richard could go anywhere in the world, he’d go back to: Southeast Asia

What does he like about BoMF: It wakes me up, gives me a good outlook on life and the day. It’s good for my mental health and physical well being. I’ve also met a lot of great people.

What do you want people to know: How much everyone means to me. I hardly ever see a negative attitude. Everyone is always happy and has a smile on their face, it puts me in a good mood. Thank you!

Richard’s long-term goal is to stay sober, he’s working on his program as he has four months clean.

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Every year, a diverse group of runners from across the country join together to form the esteemed Back on My Feet Boston Marathon Team, Team Running Home. This April 15, team members will descend upon Boston from as far away as Georgia to run one of the world’s premier marathons while raising money and awareness for the Boston chapter.

As of today, the team has raised over $27,000 towards their collective goal of $81,000. We’ll be highlighting runners from Team Running Home until April 15 so everyone can get to know this phenomenal team a little bit and cheer them on from near and far. I asked each runner to answer three short questions about themselves, and I’ll share those with you here. You can help support the 2013 Team Running Home here.

Today’s featured FundRacer is Nicole Reilly. Nicole is another dedicated Non Res Member here in Boston. She has been a member of Team Father Bill’s since the team’s inception in Quincy. Her quiet leadership has kept this eclectic group coming back for more every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Due to their location in Quincy, Father Bill’s is a bit more isolated than the rest of our Boston teams and we are grateful for the dedication and perseverance of members like Nicole.

Nicole has previously been a FundRacer for the chapter’s Falmouth Road Race team and is back in bigger and better ways for this year’s Boston Marathon.

Meet Nicole.

Q1: If you had to sum yourself up in 140 characters or less, what would you say?
A1: Mother of five … practical jokes … won ‘Slowest Woman’ trophy … 26.2 sub 4-hour wannabe … faith filled … loves Poor Me Tea … all things purple … cooking … rainbows … child’s pose

Q2: What does running mean to you?
A2: I have discovered that running cures all. Running helps me solve my problems. It helps me find an answer to a question. I run because I am happy. I run because I am sad. I run because it is a beautiful day. I run because it’s raining and I want to feel raindrops on my face. 

I love running for what it does for me. I think that it makes me a better person.

I do not run because I am fast. Because I am not. But that is okay. It makes me humble. I can run alone and I can run with others.

I run because I can. I am grateful for that.

Q3. Why Back on My Feet?
A3: BoMF “had me at hello.”

The serenity prayer…early morning/sunrise runs … giving someone hope … priceless …
My alarm goes off at 4:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I am pulling into Father Bill’s at 5:10 to meet our team. We do introductions. We have a question of the day. We circle up, arms together to say the Serenity Prayer and off we go into the dark morning. I have never, ever regretted waking up for one of these runs. I learn something about myself. I learn something about a teammate. Maybe they don’t want to talk. Maybe they were waiting for someone to care enough to want to talk to them. Every morning there is a story that I bring home with me. Whether it was something I heard, something I said, something I saw. BoMF makes me better and if I can make at least one person’s day better, then it’s more than worth it.

Nicole and all of her kids showing off their hardcore BoMF Boston pride!

Nicole and all of her kids showing off their hardcore BoMF Boston pride!

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Every year, a diverse group of runners from across the country join together to form the esteemed Back on My Feet Boston Marathon Team, Team Running Home. This April 15, team members will descend upon Boston from as far away as Georgia to run one of the world’s premier marathons while raising money and awareness for the Boston chapter.

As of today, the team has raised almost $25,000 towards their collective goal of $81,000. We’ll be highlighting runners from Team Running Home until April 15 so everyone can get to know this phenomenal team a little bit and cheer them on from near and far. I asked each runner to answer three short questions about themselves, and I’ll share those with you here. You can help support the 2013 Team Running Home here.

This week’s Featured FundRacer is Erika Mark. Erika is sisters with Team Running Home member Heidi Wheatley. Awesome must run in the family, because Erika is the epitome of the word. She has been a member of BoMF Boston’s Team Hope House since the chapter’s inception in May 2010 and has been one of the team’s most diligent Non Res members since the get go.

Erika helped shape the face of Hope House through the team’s ups and downs and always brings her smile and contagious laugh to the morning circle. This is her first year running the Boston Marathon and we’re honored she chose to make her miles count for Back on My Feet.

Meet Erika.

Q1:  If you had to sum yourself up in 140 characters or less, what would you say?

A1: Enthusiastic BOMFer; coffee-aholic & am coming to appreciate running in the city.

 

Q2: What does running mean to you?

A2: Running can be a friend or a foe (depending on the day!).  It may take all my will-power to get out the door, and even if its only for a quick 3 miler, by the time I’m done, I feel like a million bucks just for having done it – ESPECIALLY with the winter we’ve had!  Its easy to run on a “perfect weather day” –  its the days when its gusting wind, blowing snow and 10 degrees out that I feel like a REAL runner!

 

Q3: Why Back on My Feet?

A3: I first heard about BoMF when I read about it in Runners World.  It was just launching in Baltimore when I moved to Boston.  In Baltimore, there is a large homeless population and I was intrigued by Anne’s idea to sew the seeds of running into such a diversely challenging population (mental health, addictions, etc).  When BoMF launched in Boston I jumped at the chance to become a part of the Hope House team.  And despite the heartache sometimes associated with the attachments that are inevitably made with our guys (seeing them through many successes and sometimes failures), I have nothing but respect for the BoMF mission and believe that we are doing our best every day to make a difference in our community.  Running the Boston Marathon for the first time and fundraising for such a unique and important organization was a no-brainer.  GO BoMF!

Help Erika get to her fundraising goal of $5,400. Team Running Home can’t do it without your support!

Erika earning her finisher's medal with Steve and Joey, two Hope House teammates

Erika earning her hardware with Steve and Joey, two Hope House teammates

Residential Member of the Month: Terrence Robinson
He’s Moving Up!

Terrence with Melissa and Jenn

Terrence R. is on a roll! Terrence has been a strong presence with team MCVET since he joined in April 2012 and has been serving as team captain since August. After excelling in his HVAC certifications this past Fall while managing responsibilities as Vet Guard (all while maintaining over 98% attendance with BoMF), Terrence was appointed to staff at MCVET and will transition to BoMF alumni status. Terrence is incredibly driven and brings so much to his team. We are so lucky to have Terrence among the circle and look forward to supporting him in these exciting milestones ahead.

Terrence was also featured this month!  Read more about Terrence here.

Non-Residential Member of the Month: John Ware
Man, Those are Some Cool Shorts!

John Ware with Shannon and Georgeanne

John W. has been running with Team MCVET since 2009 and now sits on the BoMF Advisory Board. Weekday runs, races and socials alike, John is there in support and often sporting one of his many pairs of snappy monogram shorts! In addition to his own contributions to the team John must also be noted for his solid recruiting of two additional cherished BoMFers – his wonderful wife Shannon and their newest addition “mini-MCVETer” Georgeanne.

Terrence on ice

Terrence Robinson has served as the Team Captain of the MCVET team ever since his teammates nominated him last August. Although Terrence’s work and school responsibilities sometimes prevent him from running with the BoMF team in the morning, he usually takes the time to circle up with his teammates for a few minutes before they start running. On these days, he playfully reports his distance as 0.1 miles – the distance from MCVET to the BoMF circle that gathers across the street.

When Terrence is out, he coaxes his fellow runners up hills and distracts them with carefree banter about his adolescent son who runs track. He consistently encourages his teammates, which he appreciated during his first race: the MCVET 5k last May. The former MCVET Team Leader paced Terrence during the race, yet Terrence knew the Team Leader could have easily outrun him. The dedication and camaraderie this action displayed struck Terrence and enabled him to realize that BoMF is about supporting others as they move their lives forward from homelessness to self-sufficiency.

Terrence is pleased with the ways his accomplishments are leading him toward self-sufficiency, especially his recent promotion toSecurity Staff at MCVET. While his new position still requires him to log his activities like a Vet Guard, he will now report to the Chief of Security and be solely responsible for the safety of every person in the building during his shift. This means that Terrence will be responsible for remedying emergency situations and for resolving conflicts that arise between MCVET residents.

Soon, Terrence plans to move into Single Room Occupancy (SRO), the final phase of the recovery program at MCVET. He happily says that this move “will allow me the good fortune of becoming an alumni of BoMF.” He’s also considering running the Nikia Half Marathon or joining a relay team in April. He says it depends on his schedule and ability to fit in training with his responsibilities for his recovery, school, and work. By August, Terrence plans to add 18 months clean and sober to his list of accomplishments and to complete the Commercial Industrial Maintenance Program at North American Trade. Looking more long-term, Terrence hopes to buy a home and send his son to college once he graduates in 2016. He believes that his ultimate goal of reintegrating into his family and community is well within his reach.

As he moves his life forward, Terrence hopes to give back and help others do the same through volunteering or sharing his story from addiction and homelessness to self-sufficiency in order to inspire others. Terrence says BoMF and MCVET have “plac[ed] me in position to take advantage of opportunities that I would have not been able to access otherwise…Skills to Succeed, financial assistance, credit counseling, and the renewing of my mind as well as my body.” The job preparation, job training, and financial literacy skills Terrence has learned, along with the support from his teammates, will help enable Terrence to accomplish his goals.

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Erika and Joe!

Shoe Size? 9

Favorite post run food? I would have to say pizza.

Why do you run? I love how running makes me feel happy.

How many marathons/half marathons/5ks have you done? I just completed my 10th marathon in November!

Favorite race you’ve ever done? My favorite race is Tecumseh Trail Marathon because it was my first full marathon, plus I’m a big fan of trail running!

Bucket list item you plan to cross off soon? I would like to someday finish a half Ironman distance triathlon.

Favorite music? Christian and Pop/Rock.

Favorite vacation spot? Anywhere warm and near the ocean!

Family? I have one younger brother who runs the Indy Mini with me every year along with our mom. My dad isn’t a runner, but enjoys walking his dog.

How did you hear about BoMF? What has BoMF meant to you? Why did you stick with it? I heard about BoMF from a friend at church who is a non-resident runner, Andy Chandler. Andy mentioned BoMF several times and I finally went to a meeting to see what it was all about. BoMF has shown me how the power of community can help us become better people. Alone, we’d probably not be exercising outside in the early hours of the morning or building these friendships. However, together, we are able to become healthier physically, as well as emotionally. I stick with it because I am always in a better mood after running with BoMF!

What is your favorite memory of a time with BoMF so far? I remember one morning last spring we were running downtown from Warman and saw a mouse! I don’t want to name any names, but the little mouse really frightened one resident!

Advice for people who might want to start running with BoMF? I think that the most important thing to remember is always give your best. This is easier said than done, but I know that most of us are stronger than we think!

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Circle up with Mike, Erika, Barb, and Joe on a freezing cold race day!

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Every year, a diverse array of runners from across the country join together to form the esteemed Back on My Feet Boston Marathon Team, Team Running Home. This April 15, team members will descend upon Boston from as far away as Georgia to run one of the world’s premier marathons while raising money and awareness for the Boston chapter.

As of today, the team has raised more than $14,000 towards their collective goal of $81,000. We’ll be highlighting runners from Team Running Home each week so everyone can get to know this phenomenal team a little bit and cheer them on from near and far. I asked each runner to answer three short questions about themselves, and I’ll share those with you here. You can help support the 2013 Team Running Home here.

This week’s Featured FundRacer is Heidi Wheatley. Heidi was the first official member of Team Running Home for the 2013 season and her enthusiasm was the perfect way to kick off the 2013 Boston Marathon at Back on My Feet.

Heidi takes this year’s prize of Farthest Teammate, hailing from her home in Acworth, GA. She’s been a member of the Atlanta chapter of Back on My Feet since the chapter’s inception and is lucky enough to be sisters of one of our most dedicated Boston Non Residential Members and Team Running Home Members, Erika Mark. Awesomeness must run in this family.

Meet Heidi.

Q1: If you had to sum yourself up in 140 characters or less, what would you say?
A1: Can’t get enough of running, my family or watching Law and Order reruns.

Q2: What does running mean to you?
A2: Running is my sanity. It has helped me get through challenging times and encourages me to push myself.

Q3: Why Back on My Feet?
A3: Running has been so good to me … I love sharing it with others. I believe that the way to change a life is to be supportive and provide the tools needed for them to do so. BoMF stresses self-sufficiency and not dependence … right up my alley. I am constantly inspired by our res members and think that they give me way more than I give them.

Support Heidi by donating to her campaign today!

Heidi with her son Colton and dog Abby: "I am in love with running but Colton is my heart -- I don't know who I am without either. :-)"

Heidi with her son Colton and dog Abby: “I am in love with running but Colton is my heart — I don’t know who I am without either. :-)”

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Omar, on the left, poses with Ravens Running Back Ray Rice.

Residental Member of the Month: Omar

Omar joined the team at Christopher’s Place on October 17 and has made great strides, already accumulating 52 miles.  He has quite a few greatest moments, but the one that stands out is when he attended the pasta party at Christopher’s Place and was able to sit and talk with some really great people.  He recalls that evening as having such a positive and relaxed environment.  Omar finds running longer distances to be his biggest challenge, but he hopes to run a race in the near future.  He basically thinks about putting one foot in front of the other when he runs.  Team Leader, Diane calls Omar “the team’s number 1 cheerleader at all the Back on My Feet races!!”

Non-Residental Members of the Month: Chris and Brockett

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Chris and Brockett, also the “Dynamic Duo,” run with Christopher’s Place.  Brockett first joined BoMF in 2008, is one of the founding members of team CP, and continues to be a vital part of the team.  Chris joined in 2011 because he saw how happy Brockett was when she came home after her morning run.  Chris’ favorite moment since joining, was seeing Arnell’s pride at finishing the Baltimore half.  Brockett loves the feeling of being inspired to be part of a group of unlike people who are so alike.  When these two are running, they tend to think about each other.  Brockett hopes that Chris’ knee isn’t hurting, and Chris is hoping that Brockett’s IT band isn’t hurting.  Other than that, they count Ravens jerseys.  You may not know this, but Brockett and Chris dated for eleven years before getting married.  And they are the cutest darn couple,” says Team Leader Diane.