SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – When most of us think of running 26.2 miles, we walk quickly, or slowly, in the other direction. But for four members of the staff at Springfield Hospital, they get out the door despite the weather, put one foot in front of the other, and run for what seems to many of us…forever. How do these four people overcome the urge to stay on the couch, with the remote in one hand, snacks in the other, and watch TV for hours on end?
If you ask them what goes on in their head while training to run 26.2 miles, the responses are this is time for them, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life; they love the spirit of a competition; and they all have a strong drive to meet a personal goal. You might think that it’s the desire to be fit or to keep their weight in check. Health is important, but it seems to be the “side” benefit of running a marathon that drives them.
Pete Peck, Director of Pharmacy states, “When you set a goal, you have to decide if you really are going to follow through. I hate to quit so it drives me.”
“Running so many miles gives me the alone time that I sometimes crave and it keeps my head and heart healthy,” says Crystal Morey, executive assistant to the CEO.
Director of Anesthesia Yulia Moskvina shares, “The best is that it forces you to go outside, stay organized, and make time for yourself.”
And Brandy White, orthopedic technician, says, “I am an extremely competitive person, so if I set a goal, I do everything I can to succeed.”
Running careers for Pete and Brandy started back in high school and after college. Crystal had the help of a coach and her friends to get her started, whereas Yulia previously despised the idea of running, but she woke up one day and said, “I want to run a marathon.” She made a plan and has stayed with it ever since.
All four athletes say that the energy that is felt at a marathon venue is exhilarating. The support from the crowds, their family, and friends is what helps them get over the next hill and along the straightaways where the road never seems to end. Toward the finish line, when they are physically exhausted, the drive to continue is strong for all of them. Quitting does not seem to be an option, barring an injury. A bit of stubbornness sets in, some call it grit!
Finding the time to train is challenging as they all work full time, but they have made commitments to themselves, and their family and friends respect their drive to accomplish their goals. Crystal is working toward completing the Abbott World Majors, a series of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world: Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York. She has completed four of the six and is waiting to hear if she won a slot for Berlin. Her favorite marathon to date is the NYC Marathon in 2017. The energy and the sea of color as she ran into Manhattan allowed her to feel the pulse of the city throughout the race.
Brandy has enjoyed the Boston Marathon the most, but does find that there are several great local races, too. “The marathon is the easy part,” says Brandy. “The training is the hard part.”
She is going to do some smaller races in 2022 and will participate in the Chicago Marathon in 2023.
The Berlin Marathon was Yulia’s first major marathon. “The tens of thousands of participants, the energy, the organization, and sightseeing along the way were unbelievable,” says Yulia. Her time qualified her for Boston and she has that in her sights for 2022.
After running several half marathons, Pete decided to go for a full marathon this fall where he beat the pavement at the Philadelphia Marathon. Pete has a much different plan for 2022. He hopes to compete in the Norwegian Ruck March in May of 2022, which is 18.6 miles in full army combat gear. Pete definitely has grit!
“Their commitment to accomplish such a physically demanding goal is admirable. I see this same dedication each day in their work at Springfield Hospital, which benefits their patients, coworkers, and the communities we serve,” says Bob Adcock, CEO of Springfield Hospital.
Running provides them time to be alone or with a group of supportive friends while satisfying their competitive spirit. Setting a training goal and accomplishing it is very rewarding; and the photos taken during a race are rarely flattering. But once the race is over, and the sweat is wiped from their brow, the wide smile on everyone’s face tells it all. They did it!