Duo Team Takes on Boston Marathon

The Corey C. Griffin Foundation Introduces its First Boston Marathon Duo Team Athletes

There are 15 athletes on the 2022 Corey C. Griffin Foundation Boston Marathon team,
including Duo Team athletes Max Fink and Michael Sayih. Max, the runner, works in Venture Capital in Miami Beach, Florida. His friend Michael, the rider, lives in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Michael is the President of Special Compass, a non-profit organization that provides the disabled population with opportunities to participate fully in a wide range of community and athletic activities, enhancing their confidence and independence, among other objectives. Michael has cerebral palsy.

Max shared some insights on his and Michael’s adventures together as a Duo Team.

When did you first race together?

April of 2019. Some of our races together include the Chicago Marathon and an
Ironman.

What are some of the unique challenges and rewards of being on a Duo Team?

The biggest challenge is being fast enough for Michael! He pushes me to my limit and
always wants us to come in first (out of all the runners, not just duos….). He will
politely yell at people to get out of the way. I know I am really in trouble when he
reaches his hand back for a high five and asks me how I’m doing. It means I must have
slowed down quite a bit! All jokes aside, there are a ton of challenges that come with
being a duo team, but none come close to the challenges that Michael faces on a daily
basis and has faced throughout his entire life. Not only has Michael overcome every
challenge he has ever faced but he has done so with the biggest smile on his face you
have ever seen, every single time. It makes any race I have ever done with him
incredibly easy because it always helps me keep things in perspective. I think that is
one of the greatest rewards a duo team can give you. No matter how hard you think
something may be, you know that someone else is always fighting a harder battle and
as such you should do your best to keep everything in perspective and lead with
kindness, empathy and an endeavor to do the right thing no matter the situation or
circumstance.

Any anecdotes you’d like to share about your experience as a duo?

Michael and I ran Chicago in October 2021 and I proposed to my now fiancé at the end
of the race. He made sure I stayed calm the whole time and kept asking if I dropped the
ring even though I didn’t have it on me! We also did a full Ironman in Cozumel, Mexico
in November 2021 and it must have rained close to eight inches that day. Most people
don’t realize that when it rains on the bike portion, the back wheel of the bike spits water
continuously. That means the water was splashing hard into Michael’s chair. He had to
wear a paintball mask the entire time and he loved it. He is such a warrior, it’s
incredible.

What keeps you motivated in training?


There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. I don’t
really know how to put it into words because it’s really one of those things you have to
experience yourself in order to truly understand. When you volunteer your fitness to
include those who may not always feel included or to those that can’t participate in a
race themselves, there is simply no better feeling in the world. It has changed my life in
so many ways and I will forever be in debt to Michael and his dad, Jim for letting me be
a part of their lives and a part of Special Compass. I can honestly say that I will never
run a race alone again for the rest of my life.

Why did you want to run for the Corey C. Griffin Foundation team?

My sister went to Boston College with Corey Griffin, and I’ve gotten to know members of
the Griffin family. What the Foundation has built in Corey’s memory is nothing short of
remarkable. It’s not only an incredible tribute to Corey, but it has also had an incredible
and powerful impact on the youth of Boston. I could not think of a better foundation for
which to run the Boston Marathon. Michael and I are truly honored to be a small part of the foundation’s story.