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Team Brigham member Nancy Downer, a BWH Development officer, was worried that sitting at a desk all day would hamper her marathon training. Who better to ask than Uta Pippig, the only woman in history to win the Boston Marathon three years in a row and official inspirational leader of Team Brigham 2005.
“Don't get overwhelmed,” Pippig urged, as she addressed team members in Carrie Hall last week. During Pippig's first visit to BWH and interaction with Team Brigham, she demonstrated effective daily stretches, offered training advice and shared her secrets of the trade when running to win, training hard or enjoying an easy jog. With six weeks to go before the big event, team members listened intently to the running icon.
The 127 members of Team Brigham, including 15 BWH employees, are now finalizing training, tweaking run schedules and modifying their diets in preparation for the grueling, 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston April 18.
Team Brigham brings together a group of dedicated and generous runners from the Nesson Pike and all over the world, all committed to helping community health programs. Last year, Team Brigham raised more than $375,000 for the Office for Women, Family and Community Programs, pushing the seven-year total past the $2 million mark.
The goal for year eight is $400,000, as demand is increasing for BWH's community services like Passageway, a domestic violence intervention program; Student Success Jobs Program, that matches 25 high school students to BWH mentors and internships; and Connecting Hope, Assistance and Treatment or CHAT, a program that provides financial assistance to women diagnosed with breast cancer.
This year's team features runners from several states, including Georgia, Tennessee and California, and even runners now working in Germany, Guatemala and Mexico.
“Indifference is a terrible disease and taking action is the cure,” Gabriel Hernandez said in his team member personal statement filed online from Mexico.
Forty-two runners from the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche make up Team Brigham's “team within the team,” marking the sixth year Team Deloitte has run under the BWH banner in memory of co-worker Ellen Gabriel, who succumbed to breast cancer.
These runners need your help and support. For the opportunity to run 26.2 miles from Hopkinton, up and over Heartbreak Hill to Copley Square, each Team Brigham runner is committed to raising $2,500 in pledges. But the $400,000 team goal means runners have to raise an average of nearly $3,200.
Stay tuned to the BWH Bulletin in coming weeks to learn about Team Brigham members, why they're running and how you can help. To get a head start, visit http://healthcare.partners.org/teambrigham .