On 'Marathon Sunday,' BC Students Run for a Cause

Not all heroes wear capes; some lace up their Nike shoes one foot at a time like the rest of us. The Boston College Campus School Running Club & Marathon Team 2014-15 could easily be dubbed heroes by members of the Campus School.

The Campus School is a program at Boston College that serves students ages three to twenty-one who require special attention in their learning community. Some of the diagnoses among the students include Pitt Hopkins, Rett Syndrome, CDLK5, Mitochondrial Disease, Angelman Syndrome, Hirchprung's Disease and Vacterl Syndrome, as well as Cerebral Palsy, Trisomy 21, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Global Developmental Delays.

The Campus School works with the Lynch School of Education in order to give these unique students an education tailored to their needs. In addition to being given the attention needed to succeed academically, program members are also assisted therapeutically.

Photo courtesy of Wally Gobetz / Flickr

Photo courtesy of Wally Gobetz / Flickr

In past years, the Campus School had a group of students run the Boston Marathon in its honor, but due to recent circumstances and tighter security, this group is no longer allowed to participate. "Before the events of the Boston Marathon in 2013, the Campus School team traditionally ran as bandits in the Boston Marathon," said Taylor Pierce A&S '15.

So what did they do to keep the dream alive? They started their own marathon. "Due to increased security and out of respect for the BAA [Boston Athletic Association], we decided as a committee that it would be better to organize our own marathon," said Pierce.

The Boston College Campus School Bandit Marathon will be held on April 12th, this coming Sunday. The runners will follow the same route as the actual Boston Marathon, and they are asking for your support to cheer them on at Mile 21. "The [Campus School] students come out and cheer for us during the marathon every year," said Pierce.

The Bandit Marathon is in its second year and is still relatively small, but the cause is worthy of a substantial crowd. In order to participate, each runner is required to raise at least $250, all of which goes to the Campus School. The marathon proceeds not only support the upkeep and expansion of the Campus School, but also contribute to the development of projects to assist the school's students (EagleEyes is one such initiative). "The Bandit Marathon is so special because it centers on the Campus School as the main focus to raise awareness about the school," said Pierce.

Photo Courtesy of Boston College Campus School Running Club & Marathon Team 2014-15 / Facebook

Photo courtesy of Boston College Campus School Running Club & Marathon Team 2014-15 / Facebook

Students, alumni, faculty and others unaffiliated with BC will be participating in the Bandit Marathon. "All those running in the marathon and those responsible for its creation have worked incredibly hard to get where they are," said Pierce.

"I love that our event is such a sign of resilience, both for runners and for the school itself," Pierce added. "It shows that despite adversity, we can come together as a Boston College community and create an event that benefits the students and encourages more involvement in the Campus School by BC students."

It may not be a “Marathon Monday,” but this special Sunday is definitely worthy of your support.

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Katie McGirney