A resident of Newport who grew up in Dartmouth, Mass., Long qualified to run the race after completing her first marathon in 2011 in a time of 3 hours, 27 minutes. This year’s Boston Marathon takes place on April 15.
“As a runner, there is no greater joy than being able to do what you love while helping others,” said Long, a track star in high school who returned to running after earning her bachelor’s degree in business from URI in 2011. “I’m running this marathon so that children at Boston Children’s Hospital will be able to experience all that this world has to offer.”
Miles for Miracles team members raise funds to support patient care, medical research and community health programs at the hospital. Long is nearly halfway to her $1,000 fundraising goal with a month left before the race. The program has raised more than $15 million for Children’s Hospital since 1996.
Long will soon be partnered with a patient at the hospital who she will meet shortly before the race.
“When you meet your partner and hear their story – usually it’s a child with cancer or some other serious disease – it gives you so much extra motivation to raise money and run well,” Long said. “The money I raise will go toward helping kids get the best care in New England.”
To prepare for the Boston Marathon, Long has been running 6 miles per day and one or two longer runs of 10-15 miles every week.
Long said that running is something that she has gotten “a little addicted to,” and after the marathon she might consider entering a triathlon or an ultramarathon. “We’ll see how I do next month before deciding on the next step,” she said.
In between her workouts, Long works part time at CVS Pharmacy in Newport and looks forward to completing her MBA coursework this spring. She then hopes to enroll in the URI pharmacy program.
“I figured that an MBA and a doctor of pharmacy degree are a great combination,” Long said. “I’ve been a pharmacy technician for two years already, and that got me interested in getting a pharmacy degree. With the two degrees I could be a pharmacy manager, work at a hospital or in managed care. There are so many things I could do.
“I always wanted to be involved in the medical field,” she added, “but at first I felt it was out of reach. Now I know I can handle it.”
To support Long in her fundraising effort, visit www.childrenshospital.org/bostonmarathon, click “donate” and input her name.
Photo provided by Shannon Long