Boston Marathon

Runners Commit to Raising Money for Virtual Boston Marathon

Among the charities runners are raising money for are the Museum of Science and the non-profit Back on My Feet

NBC Universal, Inc.

Despite many runners dropping out of this year's Boston Marathon due to the coronavirus pandemic and because it is virtual, many participants say they are still committed to raising money for their charities.

"Yes! I'm gonna run this marathon. I'm gonna raise a lot of money for the Museum of Science," U.P. Nguyen, a software engineer and Boston Marathon runner told NBC10 Boston recently.

Before the pandemic even hit, Nguyen held fundraisers and even dyed her hair pink to hit her Boston Marathon fundraising goal of $7,500.

Once the Boston Athletic Association decided to cancel the 124th running of the race and make it a virtual event, Nguyen said she decided to run anyway.

"I was kind of lacking motivation," she said.

And she's wasn't alone.

Kurt Ronan qualified to run this year which was quite an achievement considering where he's coming from.

"It's how I stay sober," Ronan said.

He began running through the non-profit Back on My Feet, which helps homeless men and women get back into the job market by using the sport as the starting line.

"Before like I was… running away from myself and now, like I'm running to better myself," Ronan said.

Back on My Feet counts on marathon charity runners to help them operate.

"That money goes directly towards our program in helping members achieve those sustainable lives," said Kari Lindemann, the Marketing Director of Back on My Feet.

Funds go towards running clothes, job training, and in Ronan's case, helped him secure first and last month's deposit on a new apartment.

Despite the challenging times, the organization's 14 charity runners have been able to raise more than 100-thousand dollars — similar to previous years.

At the Museum of Science, however, they're short their usual total because half of their runners bowed out of the race.

"Traditionally we raise about $200K a year," said Andrew Russell, Senior Vice President of Advancement at the Museum. "This year with COVID and the virtual race it's probably going to end up being about half of that."

Nguyen is sticking with the museum and has even found another cause to raise money for.

"I'm running a different course that spells out BLM," she said.

Russell Tanguay runs the Boston Marathon to raise money for the American Liver Foundation after experiencing his own health scare three years ago.

As for Ronan, he will be taking a much-needed break with his family… after a long road to redemption.

"If it wasn't for Back on My Feet and that foundation, I probably wouldn't be here," he said.

The Museum of Science will use their donations this year to fund its virtual museum experience.

The BAA says, so far, $29.2 million has been raised by charity runners. That's less than $10 million from 2019's total. The 2020 total will be determined next month.

Contact Us