It was a hot day on April 17th, 2017, when four intrepid runners from the Corey C. Griffin Foundation headed out to complete the Boston Marathon. They joined 30,000 other racers at the start of the race in Hopkinton. Countless spectators crowded the edges of the race. Temperatures reached the mid 70s as Andrew Orpik, Missy Greene, Conor McCormack and Tommy Greeley headed out under a nearly cloudless sky. New and old runners alike joined together for a common cause. “After running the Boston Marathon in 2015, I was confident that I would not run another marathon until I saw I had the opportunity to fundraise on behalf of the Corey C. Griffin Foundation,” said Missy Greene.
Their first challenge had already been overcome: as a group, they raised $64,000 for the Corey C. Griffin Foundation by exemplifying the value of entrepreneurship that the Foundation supports. Now they faced another obstacle, that of pacing themselves carefully down the hills that characterize the first part of the Boston Marathon. It’s tempting for runners to sprint down the hills, but runners who do become tired early on.
The group of four started out smart, clad in bright green shirts. They were invigorated by the crowd and ran with hands held high waving at friends and family, flashing plenty of smiles to the cheering masses. They were fueled by cups of water, cooled off by open fire hydrants and cheered on by Corey C. Griffin Foundation supporters holding signs and cheering in support of their efforts. The weather that day proved to be a challenge for all participants.
“We did not see a cloud until Mile 15...which proved to be costly for many runners who cramped, overheated and became dehydrated,” said Andrew Orpik, who battled a painful hip during the race. Some runners had to drop out because of the heat. But the Foundation team stayed strong, motivated by the crowd. Close to the halfway point of the race, they entered the “Scream Tunnel,” the most boisterous cheering section of the race which is held by a group of students from Wellesley College. Nearing the end of the course, they faced “Heartbreak Hill,” a hill that begins around mile 20 and is almost a half mile long. It’s a daunting challenge for any runner, and they still had to run 6 miles after that. But the team was up for the test. Here, they each displayed another one of the Corey C. Griffin Foundation’s values: character.
They crossed the finish line in Boston’s Copley Square triumphantly. It was the first time they had completed the Boston Marathon on behalf of the Corey C. Griffin Foundation. Through their tireless efforts, Missy, Conor, Andrew and Thomas embodied the values that the Foundation represents. This group of four also raised an impressive amount of donations for the Foundation’s mission of children, education and faith. It was also a wonderful tribute to Corey Griffin, who had been a runner. “Some of my fondest memories with Corey...came after school, when we would wake up on Sunday mornings and go for long runs around Boston...I can’t think of a more fitting way to honor Corey and to support Corey’s Kids than to run the Boston Marathon,” said Tommy Greeley, who attended high school with Corey and also went to Boston College with him.
The Corey C. Griffin Foundation is putting together a team for the 2018 Boston Marathon. The 2017 team demonstrated that both seasoned runners like Missy and new marathoners like Andrew can work together to promote awareness of the Corey C. Griffin Foundation and raise money for their important causes. Contact the Foundation on Facebook or their website for more information.