We at Knowledgent are so proud of our own Informationist Tina Botti, who completed the Boston Marathon on April 20!
After the marathon, I sat down with Tina to talk about running, her involvement with Run for Research, and her suggestions for beginner runners.
What appeals to you about running in events like the Boston Marathon?
The Boston Marathon is the oldest marathon in the world and arguably the most prestigious, so it has been an honor to get to run it two years in a row. It is very difficult to get into – you either have to have lightning speed (of which, I most definitely do not) or be accepted into a charity organization. Each year the charities get many more applicants than there are bibs, so I was lucky to be accepted onto the American Liver Foundation’s Run for Research team and have successfully raised over $11,000 in two years.
What’s a standard day like when you are training for a marathon? Do you follow a specific training regimen? What do you eat?
I am lucky to have a very supportive (and awesome!) team to train with. The American Liver Foundation’s New England Division really takes care of us. Each Saturday we meet at a gym downtown for a “mission moment” where someone connected to Liver disease tells their story to give you that extra motivation out there on your run. We all go out on a predetermined route, aligned to the training plan provided to us, outfitted with water stops along the way, and come back to stretch together afterwards. Other than that, I try to get a couple five-mile runs in during the week and either lift or do yoga one or two other days. As far as eating, I’m constantly hungry during marathon season, so I’m always munching on something.
What is Run for Research and how did you get involved with the program?
Run for Research is a subdivision of the American Liver Foundation. The Boston Marathon is their biggest charity event of the year, bringing in over one million dollars. Never in my life did I have the desire to run a marathon. I ran a half marathon about six years ago and hated it. I swore I’d never run that far again and I hadn’t. After the terrorist attacks in 2013, something inside of me ignited and I knew somehow I was going to run in 2014. I applied to a bunch of charity teams and I’m so glad I was accepted onto this one. I may be biased, but I think it is the best charity team involved with the Boston Marathon. I had such a great time, I was convinced to come back for a second year as part of the team’s Runner’s Council, a small group that coordinates the season and ensures each runner has all of the resources he or she needs both for running and the fundraising commitment. I’ve made some really great friendships on this team and I’m very fortunate to be involved with such a great group of individuals.
What does Run for Research’s cause mean to you?
Coming in, I didn’t have a real connection to liver disease. Through the team’s patient match program, I have been paired with a wonderful and inspiring liver patient, Tracy Sullivan, for the past two years. Tracy has a hereditary liver disease where cysts grow on her liver, amounting in excess of 40 pounds of fluid. For years she has been on the liver transplant list, slowly moving up but still not there. Originally she was told she would need a full liver to be transplanted due to the regenerative nature of the disease. Research has come so far that she is now a candidate for a partial liver transplant from a living donor. I’m really excited for her. They are currently evaluating the person on her list of donor candidates; if that falls through, I have volunteered to be considered for a potential match.
Do you have any tips for people looking to get into running?
The beauty of running is that it does not discriminate – everyone can do it. I recommend joining a running group, whether that is through a charity or something more informal. Having made the commitment to meet someone for a run makes it easier to get out of bed in the morning. Having someone to converse with makes the run fly by, too.
Click here for more information on Run for Research or to donate. Want to see more of Knowledgent Cares in action? Check out our Flickr account.