When Trish Trout runs with thousands of racers at the 118th Boston Marathon in April, she’ll cross an item off her bucket list.
“Boston is the crown jewel of running, and coming from a non-elite running status, it always seemed like it was a dream too far out of reach,” the 39-year-old mother of two said.
The Wesley Chapel woman couldn’t picture qualifying and she knew the only other way would be to run for a charity, something she couldn’t quite foresee happening. But one of her co-workers encouraged her to see if she could run for a charity. He told her: “If you can get in, I will help you with fundraising.”
So, Trout decided to try, and was accepted to run as part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge.
Last year’s bombings in Boston didn’t dissuade her from the desire to run the 26.2-mile race.
“It motivates me more,” Trout said. “It has given me a way to show my kids, ‘Yes, there are people who do bad things, but if we let that stop us, then we let them win.’”
Her daughter Alexa attends Wiregrass Ranch High School, and her son Adam attends John Long Middle School. They’ll both be in Boston to watch their mom run.
“People ask me, ‘Are you sure you want to take your kids there?’” Trout said. “I say, ‘Absolutely, there’s no greater sense of accomplishment than seeing your kids in an environment where everyone who is there is there for the same reason, to accomplish something that is greater than themselves.’”
She knows it’s no easy feat to complete a marathon. And she realizes she is not the ideal candidate to make the run.
“If you look at me, I’m not built to be a runner,” Trout said. But she’s determined to make it happen.
“I will crawl. I will roll. It doesn’t matter. I will cross that finish line on the day that I’m supposed to,” Trout said.
Trout has run in a half-dozen half-marathons and began training for the Boston Marathon around September. Generally, she does her shorter runs on weekday evenings — making her way through the neighborhoods of Meadow Pointe and Plantation Palms. She prefers running in the road because the pavement is easier on her knees and hips than sidewalks.
She does longer runs on the weekends.
Trout, who is a quality assurance analyst for a software company, enjoys running for causes. She ran a Gasparilla 15-kilometer on a team to raise awareness for human trafficking. She’s running the Boston Marathon to help raise money for cancer research.
“I find it easier to go on the long, lonely runs knowing that I’m running for somebody else,” Trout said.
She’s running the Boston Marathon as a member of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge. She has pledged to raise at least $9,650.
So far, she’s raised just over $8,000.
“Everybody knows somebody who has dealt with cancer,” Trout said. “And, what I have done is — each mile, because there’s 26 miles, I’ve been asking people if they’d be willing to sponsor a mile,” Trout said. “I have the .2, because the marathon is 26.2 miles. My daughter wants that part. I keep telling her she’s got to up the ante if she wants that part.”
Trout said she’s hoping to exceed her pledge and raise at least $13,100 for Dana-Farber, which is a cancer institute in Brookline, Mass. She picked that number because “13.1” signifies a half-marathon, the distance she normally runs. If she raises $13,100, she’ll shave her head in a show of solidarity with cancer patients who do not think they have anyone supporting them.
Trout said her goal is to complete the marathon in no more than 5 hours and 30 minutes. Initially, she was shooting for 5 hours and 15 minutes, but she’s coming off a slight injury.
Trout’s familiar with the course because she drove it in November when she was in Boston for Thanksgiving.
“I got goose bumps, and I started to cry when I stood at the starting line. I was in the moment,” she said.
She’s anticipating a similar show of emotion on April 21, as she crosses the finish line.
Regardless of the time she turns in, Trout said this experience already has taught her a few things about herself.
“It reaffirms the fact that, when I make a decision, I’m going to do whatever it takes to stick to it,” she said. “And, I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was.”
Anyone interested in donating can visit RunDFMC.org/2014/trish.
Published April 2, 2014