Milton, MA – Many mornings, Bill O’Brien, executive director of Physician Services at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, is already on his training run before his three daughters are out of bed.
“The girls don’t see me go out in the morning, but they know what I’m doing. Training for the marathon takes a lot of determination, but hopefully seeing a parent strive to achieve a difficult goal is a good lesson for them,” he said.
The Boston Marathon has always been about family for O’Brien. Both he and his wife were born in Dorchester and grew up watching the marathon. As a student at Boston College, he would cheer with friends and classmates as runners passed through Chestnut Hill.
“Last year’s events were a little too close to home for all of us,” he said. “They had an effect on all of us – your heart goes out to those families and everyone affected. But the region’s response to the tragedy and the excitement for this year’s marathon send a powerful message about who and what we are.”
“I’m honored to be chosen to run for Team BIDMC,” said O’Brien, who is preparing for his first marathon. “Running the marathon has always been in the way-back of my bucket list, though I never completely understood how difficult it is,” he joked.
“Training for long-distance running can be a very cold, dark, lonely thing. I’m looking forward to running in the Boston Marathon, but not only that, this Boston Marathon and what it’s going to mean for Boston. I think the actual running will be insignificant compared to the environment of support and excitement around the day. Others who have run the marathon have said the day itself is the dessert for everything you trained for.”
Article written by Jason Bouffard, internal communications manager for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center