Jawbone Up 2 #ExpertGear Review

March 21, 2016

One of the perks of working in a running store part-time is the chance to learn about a variety of great brands and products through a site called Experticity (and then have the chance to purchase those products at a discount). OK, that’s a big perk of working in a running store. Pro pricing is a wonderful thing but, aside from the personal benefits I get from it, it also allows industry pros to train with a wider variety of products, which in turn helps them provide better advice to customers.

Through my relationship with Experticity, I now have the opportunity to review products, beginning with the Jawbone Up 2 fitness tracker! Until now, I’ve never hopped on the fitness tracker bandwagon, figuring I stay relatively active as a triathlete. Still, the health implications of sitting at a desk all day go beyond not getting exercise during the day and it always helps to have a reminder to get up and move every now and then. But I figured I’d get even more useful information from the sleep tracking, which would give me a better idea of just how much of a sleep deficit I have. No part of me believed I was getting enough sleep before tracking it.

Now, you’ll have to bear with me as, in the interest of efficiency, I did my unboxing while on the trainer while watching results from Super Tuesday 2. That’s right, I’m a multi-tasking triathlete politics geek. NBD.



What you’ll get in the package is the tracker, a charger, and “instructions.”



Now for those instructions.


So, get the app. Plug your tracker into a computer. Got it. Now, when I was able to actually do this, it was an exceedingly simple process. If you have a modicum of familiarity with apps, you will be able to set up the Up 2. As I recall, there’s no pairing to fumble through, no passwords etc. But, my quibble with the process would be that you need to plug the tracker into a computer to do the initial set-up, which seems to be an “antiquated” requirement. On the subject of connecting to a computer/charging, you may have noticed the charger looks a little funny, with no obvious clips to attach to the charger. Turns out, it’s magnetic! Neat!


You can also see how you actually put the tracker on here. There is a metal clasp that attaches via hook to another piece, which you can move up and down the rubber band to adjust the fit. When you set the app up, there is a video that shows you exactly how to properly put the tracker on. Of course, I’m one of those guys who figures I can figure stuff out on my own – instructions are for sissies, and so ended up putting it on like this.


I’m a moron, which is plain to see here. After watching the instructional video I was able to do it the right way, which is actually quite easy to do.


Much better, right? And here’s how it looks on the wrist.


The tracker itself is thin, light and comfortable, meaning I hardly notice it’s on during the day and never am bothered wearing it at night. Personally, I don’t see it as a drawback that the Up 2 lacks a display as it makes it more business-appropriate for daily wear.

On The Wrist

As for functionality, as mentioned, the Up 2 tracks steps and sleep. That’s it. And, really, given that I have GPS watches for keeping track of my swim/bike/running, as well as giving me smart notifications, that’s all I need from a fitness tracker. When you sync the Up 2 using the UP app, you’ll see a progress chart showing your steps for the day and your sleep for the previous night, both of which you can then dive down deeper into for more stats, as shown below.

IMG_2256 IMG_2257

Please don’t judge me for my inactivity today, so far all I’ve done is taken a train from Boston to NYC.

The best thing I can say about the Up 2 is that, seemingly, it works. I’ve never actually taken a hard look at my sleep stats, but I like that it tells me light and heavy sleep, which seems to line up with what I experience at night. If nothing else, it reinforces that I need to get more sleep. As far as cons about the Up 2, I wish that it was fully waterproof so I could swim with it, but it is resistant enough so that you can shower with it and not have to take it off. I do find that it can be a bit of a pain to take on and off, but also don’t have to do that all that often.

All in all, the Up 2 is a worthy option to consider if you are looking for a slim, simple, stylish fitness tracker!

Cauliflower Steaks with Olive Relish and Tomato Sauce

December 17, 2015

Webster’s Dictionary defines “steak” as:

  1. 1a :  a slice of meat cut from a fleshy part of a beef carcassb :  a similar slice of a specified meat other than beef <ham steak>c :  a cross-section slice of a large fish <swordfish steak>

  2. 2:  ground beef prepared for cooking or for serving in the manner of a steak <hamburger steak>

As a lifelong meat-eater, I’ve always found it a little silly to call a thick cut of a vegetable a “steak,” but in my recent veggie-curious incarnation, I think I can finally get on board with adding “a substantive slice of vegetable, vaguely resembling the shape and size of a beef steak” to the definition.  With this newfound acceptance of nomenclature, I set off to make my first “cauliflower steak.”

For this dish, I principally relied on a recipe found on Epicurious.com, which itself was a Bon Appetit dish.  Not being a fan of black olives, I substituted green pitted olives and, being a huge fan of capers, I added capers.  Also, we don’t do sun-dried tomatoes, so we nixed those.  That would make the revised ingredient list as follows:


  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup pitted oil-packed green olives, finely chopped
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cored, quartered

Because colors on the plate are fun, I decided to go with purple cauliflower instead of the plain old white version.  As near as I can tell, it tastes just like the white stuff.

IMG_9474 IMG_9477

See?  Isn’t it pretty?  I won’t go through the detailed steps of the recipe, not that it’s all that detailed, but rather hit on some of the high points in it.  I just tore off the leaves from the stem of the cauliflower rather than trying to trim them.  Be careful when you are cutting the stem to make sure the core stays intact to make sure you have a cohesive slice.  I found I ended up with a lot more florets breaking off than the recipe perhaps anticipated, but it just made for more in the relish and I roasted a few of the bigger ones as well.

The relish is super-easy and quick to throw together and was probably my favorite part of the dish.  I think it would make a great topping for other dishes as well, perhaps swordfish or tuna.  The capers and green olives play very nicely together with the other ingredients and make for a great salty, herby, acidic topper.  Here’s the final product.


To cut the steaks, I started in the middle of the head, as the recipe suggested, and literally just cut slices of cauliflower, it’s pretty straight-forward I’d say.  I then gave them a quick “sear” in the cast-iron pan before putting them in the oven to roast.  One thing I neglected to do was add some more olive oil to the pan after flipping the cauliflower, which I definitely should have done.  Still, they came out pretty well, I think.



I transferred the cauliflower to a baking sheet and set to work on plum tomatoes and garlic.  Now, here was an example of my issue with fully reading recipes closely before working on them.  I had thought that all I did was cook the tomatoes and garlic in the pan before blending them, not realizing I was supposed to roast them after.  Luckily, I had prepped both while the cauliflower was searing and had enough time to brown them and get them in the oven to match up with the timing for roasting the cauliflower so everything would be done at the same time.


With everything out of the oven, all that was left to do was make the tomato sauce.  The recipe calls for using a blender, which I’m sure would work fine, but we have a mini food processor among our kitchen toys, which got the job done nicely.


From roasted ingredients…


To tomato sauce.  Next time, I’d double the recipe for the sauce.  It was very good, but didn’t make all that much.

Just to make the meal a bit heartier, we did it with couscous.  Smear some tomato sauce on the cauliflower, top it with relish, and you’re good to go!


Happy eating!



Chana Italiana

November 29, 2015

A couple weeks ago, R made a great chickpea dish based on a Smitten Kitchen recipe called Chana Masala.  It came out very well and made for a hearty, vegetarian dinner.  Tonight, I decided to try mixing it up, having done several Indian-inspired dishes lately, while using the original dish as an inspiration.  Instead of Indian, I went with an Italian-type theme to the dish.

I started off with two medium-sized onions coupled with 3 cloves of garlic, all diced, which I put in a cast iron skillet containing hot olive oil.


I let the mixture cook down, softening the onions, before adding an herb mix containing the herbs pictured below.  You’ll have to use your best judgment when it comes to cooking down the onions, as well as your own personal tastes.  Some like their onion to have a bit of crunch, others like them very soft.  It’s your dinner, eat your onions how you like them.


How did I pick the herbs I did?  I looked in my spice cupboard and picked out green things I thought would work well together.  How much of these herbs did I add to the onions?  This much.

Herbed Onions

I’m not trying to be difficult here, but rather to show that, yeah, recipes are great and they can provide some really good inspiration for cooking, but don’t feel limited by them.  Add things that sound good, take out things you don’t like.  The more you do it, the more confident you’ll feel experimenting.  When it comes to the kitchen, you do you.

After letting the onions cook with the herbs for a couple minutes, I added a full 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, along with the tomato liquid in the can and 2/3 of a cup of water, using the liquid to deglaze the pan i.e. scrape up any stuck bits.  I then added a can of drained, rinsed, cooked chickpeas (“chana”) along with a solid helping of aged balsamic vinegar and some sprigs of fresh thyme.  Next step?   Let it all simmer for roughly 10 minutes.

Cooked Stuff

Oh, don’t forget to season with salt as you go.  This is crucial.  The dish is ready when the chickpeas have softened to the point where you like to eat them.

All that remains is to plate the dish, then eat!

Plated Pre Cheese

Now, me being me, I couldn’t help but stir in some goat cheese and gussy it all up with some fresh parsley, because we had some, and why the heck not?

Finished Dish

I’d say the entire dish took roughly 40 minutes or so to make, perhaps not even that.  Fairly easy for a weeknight and it makes a good amount of leftovers, at least another night of serving two people.

Eat athlete food, be a better athlete!

Hannukah Gifts/Stocking Stuffers For Your Triathlete

November 20, 2015

With the weather in Boston in the 50s today, it seems crazy to think that the holiday season is nearly upon us.  I’m not even sure how I’m supposed to know it’s the holiday season when Starbucks cups are just plain red in color, devoid of any symbolism.  Still, Hannukah is a scant couple of weeks away, which I did not even realize until beginning this post, starting the night of Sunday, December 6, and Christmas is, the 25th?  It’s hard to keep track of it with it changing dates year to year!

Last year, R and I switched things up and did a gift each night of Hannukah, rather than one big gift.  I think we kept the price range under $10, allowing for some bigger gifts balanced by some smaller ones.  It made us think a bit more about what we’d get for each other and was pretty fun.  I figure the same guidelines work for stocking stuffers, but I’ll admit I’ve only ever received a stocking from my in-laws, and have never stuffed one myself.  There is truly no shortage of holiday gift guides out there for runners, cyclists, running cyclists, swimmers, triathletes, etc., but I honestly never find them all that useful, and most don’t focus on smaller gifts.  So, here’s hoping this list of gift ideas for the triathlete in your life, any of which I’d want to receive myself (hint hint R if you’re reading this) proves helpful!

1. Bike Tubes

Any cyclist will tell you that you can never have too many spare tubes around.  I’ve ended rides thinking that I was coming home on a perfectly good tube only to find the next time I went to go out that I’d somehow gotten a puncture at a late point in the ride and was in need of a tube.  Road tubes will generally be 700 (diameter) x __ (width).  Do some digging in your triathlete’s stash to see if you can get the size they use.  Otherwise, something in the low 20s will be just fine.

It’s tough to go wrong with a Continental tube.

2. CO2 Inflator and Cartridges

So, you’ve got a flat, you take out your brand new spare tube, and what do you use to inflate it?  While some roadies keep a frame pump or mini-pump on them, those pumps often can’t get a high enough PSI for a road tube, are bulky and heavy to carry (heavy in a roadie sense) and don’t work with tri bikes.  Maybe it’s not the sexiest of gifts, but it’ll help keep your triathlete rolling!

To actually use the cartridge, you need a chuck.  The chuck screws on to the cartridge and lets you actually get air out.

If you want to splurge a little, I use the Portland Design Works Shiny Object CO2 Inflator with 16G Cartridge set, which is $27.76 on Amazon.  What I like about this set is the chuck lets you regulate the flow of air into the tube, which is quite helpful when changing a tube, and the leather sleeve protects your hand from the cartridge, which gets very cold in use.

3. Socks

Good socks are the best.  Like, seriously, the best.  Some prefer short socks, some prefer long socks.  Me?  I like long socks when it comes to training, short for racing, mostly for ease of use with an ankle chip strap.  Socks have special significant, for some reason, in the cycling world, earning multiple references in the Velominati rules, and are a source of expression for riders.  Plus the good ones are super comfortable.  Personally, I prefer socks from The Athletic, based out of Portland.

4. Casquettes de Cyclisme/Cycling Caps

I first fell in love with the cycling cap from an unlikely source…

That’s right, White Men Can’t Jump.  Now, I’ll admit, these hats are rather controversial, with some very strong opinions on both sides.  I happen to love them, both on the bike and off, and have a fairly good collection going right now.  Some hats are made from technical fibers and go well under a helmet to help keep sweat out of your eyes.  They are also great for sweaty trainer rides.

There is a large variety of hats out there, some are vintage cool.

Some are groovy.

And some are just wicked awesome.

5. Fuel

Having the right fuel for training and racing is vitally important.  Especially during peak training periods, this means going through a lot of gels, chews, powders, waffles and bars.  You really cannot have enough of your favorite source of energy and these items make great small gifts.

For drink mix, I like Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix, which is sold both in 1 lb bags and singles.  The singles are great for their portability, which is especially handy for traveling for races and for taking on long rides to refuel with.

For chewy fuel, I dig Skratch Labs Fruit Drops, as documented in my review.

6. Tools

Is your triathlete a tinkerer?  Does he or she like to do maintenance on his or her own bike rather than take it into the shop every time it needs an adjustment?  If so, your triathlete might enjoy some new additions to the toolbox!  This might be the kind of thing where you might have to do some inquiry into what tools are already in hand, and what may be needed.  Your triathlete may also have a brand preference for tools.  Personally, I love the look and performance of Park Tools.  Some options to consider include:

A pedal wrench.

Three-way hex wrench.

Mini Chain Brute Chain Tool.

7. Lube

Get your mind out of the gutter.  A properly lubed bike drivetrain is a happy drivetrain.  Give your triathlete the gift of a well-lubed machine.


8. Custom Name Stickers

This gift was absolutely my favorite one from last Hannukah.  Most pro riders have custom name decals for their bikes, and now your triathlete can have the same.  Name stickers help set your bike apart from the rest of the field, make you feel like a pro, and give you a chance to add some self-expression to your steed.

Sticker Name

9. Swim Gear

Finally, swimming involves a surprising amount of training tools, many of which your triathlete may not have bought for him/herself, instead relying on the grody stuff at the pool.  To upgrade their gear, consider:

TYR Pull Float

Speedo Mesh Equipment Bag

TYR Kickboard


Should I happen upon some other neat-looking gift ideas, I’ll be sure to update this post.  Until then, happy holidays to all!



Quick Review: Speedo Air Seal Tri Goggle

November 19, 2015

I’ve recently become comfortable with the idea of calling myself a “cyclist” in addition to “runner” and “triathlete.”  To me, that means that I actually really enjoy riding my bike, even if it’s not “training.”  I’ve even done some pure bike races, with nary a transition to be found!  When it comes to swimming, however, I am still a triathlete who has to train in the pool.  I am not a “swimmer,” though I am working on that and have even found it enjoyable from time to time.  That said, I look absolutely terrible in the water.

Bad Swim

Don’t look at this too long, or your form may suffer as well.

All the same, I figured I’d share some impressions on my new goggles that I purchased during the City Sports going out of business sale, the Speedo Air Seal Tri goggle.  Of course, I’m a sucker for anything “tri-specific,” and these goggles promised to have the most comfortable eye gaskets, which is something I’ve had issues with for other goggles.  The ones I got are mirrored, helping to reduce open water sun glare, presumably.


And, oh, what’s that?  That’s just my finisher’s backpack from Timberman, big deal.

The straps adjust in back just by pulling.  I found the system works pretty well and you don’t have clips to fiddle with on the side of your head that might dig into your temple.  I’ve not had any issues with the straps coming loose or, for that matter, leaks in the gaskets.  Similarly, no issues with fogging yet.


As for comfort, in the couple of swims I’ve worn them for so far, the eye gaskets are as comfortable as advertised.  They feel soft against the face and create a nice seal.  No complaints there.  However, if you take a look at the picture, you’ll notice the nose bridge doesn’t look all that soft.  In fact, it’s not.  I’m not sure if it’s plastic, but it’s hard and rigid and I can definitely see the potential for it to dig into your nose if that’s the way your face is shaped.  It hasn’t been an issue for me yet, but I haven’t worn them for a truly extended swim yet.  I will update this post should it become intolerable.  All in all, I really like these goggles so far and hope they continue to perform well!

For size and comfort reference, I’d note that I like the Speedo MDR 2.4, and wore them for Timberman, though they do start to put pressure on my eyes after a while, and DO NOT like the Aqua Sphere Kayenne, which has a habit of leaking on me.

So, apparently it is possible to have a blog post under 1000 words!  Happy swimming all you swimmers, and happy training in the pool everyone else!

Spicy Cauliflower and Tofu Bowl

November 11, 2015

I’ll be honest, I’m a lot more surprised that I find myself writing a blog about how I made a dish using tofu than I was when it was mushrooms.  That’s not to say I never eat tofu, I’ll have it in a salad on rare occasions and actually kind of enjoy it in hot and sour soup.  Still, I’ve only ever cooked it once before, and that was when we had a vegetarian friend over for dinner and I grilled some up.  Last night, that all changed.

With R under the weather, I was on my own to decide what to cook which , as of late, has meant an excuse to make vegetarian dishes she wouldn’t necessarily be interested in.  I got it in my head I wanted to have buffalo chicken with, you know, something.  I figured I’d let the dish evolve based on what I found in the store.  As I walked around the produce section, I decided a brunoised carrot would play nicely and, then, why not some lacinato kale tossed in?  Oh!  This would all go well with some feta, as most buffalo things do, on top of some couscous!  But what about a protein source?  It was then I passed by the tofu…and took a leap of faith on a package of extra firm because, hey, why not?

The final ingredient list was:

  • Cauliflower
  • Lacinato kale
  • Carrot
  • Extra firm tofu
  • Feta
  • Cholula hot sauce
  • Couscous

You’ll notice I don’t list quantities of ingredients, and generally won’t in these posts.  There are a few reasons for this.  One, I am trying to get away from recipes, myself, and don’t want to get others in the habit of just following directions, rather than cooking in the moment.  Two, I find when I cook that I generally alter a recipe anyway to fit my tastes or what I want more of, so please consider the lists more of a guideline.  Third, I am wicked lazy and disinclined to write down quantities.

The cauliflower is easy to prep.  I just cut down the middle of the head I got and sliced off the florets at the top.  Done.  For the carrot, I decided to get a little fancy with a brunoise cut, basically making tiny carrot cubes.  Hopefully this series helps show how I did this.

Basically, you want to square off the edges of the carrot then slice it in half one way lengthwise, then the other.  All you have to do after that is slice your cubes!


I added the cubed carrots to a bowl with the cauliflower, tossed the mix with Cholula, then added it to a stainless sautee pan with hot oil.


Using a wooden spoon, I shuffled around the veggies every now and then to get an even cook and prevent sticking.  How did I know when it was done?  When I tasted a piece of cauliflower and it still had some crunch without being soggy.  I can’t say I have any better testing procedure than that, but it worked!

Next was big leap, trying the tofu.  I opened the package and sliced two pieces from the…loaf.  I then diced up the tofu, roughly the same size as the carrots, added some more oil to the pan and let that get hot, then added the tofu with some dashes of Cholula.


I tried to achieve some texture on the tofu with the oil, but it still remained fairly squishy after cooking it, which ended up being pretty good in the end.

As for the kale, I did a rough chop of the full bunch into ribbons and added it to a non-stick pan with oil.  The kale was easier to get crispy this way, giving some crunch to the dish.



As for the couscous?  Well, just follow the directions for the couscous.  After that, all you have to do is put it in a bowl all pretty-like!


Easy enough, right?  I’d say this took about 35 minutes total to cook, making for a fairly quick weeknight dish.

Happy eating!


November 6, 2015

“I wonder if Whole Foods has any interesting mushrooms,” I found myself wondering one afternoon.  This is not a normal thought for me.  This is, in fact, a rather abnormal thought for me.  But with the wif away, it seemed like a perfect time to go absolutely wild…and try cooking mushrooms.  Although I’ve been trying to cook without recipes lately, I admit I did a little research on how to cook mushrooms because I’ve never cooked them before.  I found many recipes for “shiitake bacon,” which seemed like a relatively tasty way to cook an ingredient I’ve never been particularly fond of in the past.  I decided to make a variation of a dish I’d recently learned using farro as a base, but cooked “risotto-style.”  I picked up some kale, broccoli, the aforementioned shiitakes, carrots and goat cheese and headed home to put them all together, still without a very clear plan of how that was going to go down.

Although this is a pretty simple dish in the end, I ended up using one small saute pan, one cast-iron skillet, and one pot to get it done.  First, I filled the pot with water and set it to boiling while I chopped the broccoli into florets, tore up the kale into smaller pieces, and used a peeler to cut long ribbons of carrot (running the peeler down the length of the carrot).  In a large saute pan, I started dry toasting the farro.  Now, here’s what I meant by risotto-style farro.  Instead of cooking the farro grains in a pot of water, ladle the boiling water into the saute pan, enough to just cover the grains.  Like the arborio rice in a traditional risotto, the farro grains will gradually soak up the water.  All you have to do is stir occasionally and keep adding water until the grains are cooked.  Unlike traditional risotto, you really don’t need to constantly stir the grains, but I also would keep an eye on it.  I added a blend of curry powder and Turkish Seasoning to the water to season the grains.  Be sure to taste often to make sure your seasoning is where you want it throughout the cooking.  I don’t know of a great way to know when farro is cooked other than…it tastes cooked in terms of chewiness.  I’m certain there’s Googlable answer to this, but I’ll always go by the taste test anyway.

In the small stainless saute, I heated some olive oil then, once hot, added the sliced mushrooms along with the same seasoning I used for the farro.  It’s important to keep stirring the mushrooms because they’ll stick on you if you let them be.  My goal was to really brown the mushrooms, getting a great texture in the process.  I was going for something close to crispy when they were done.

While the mushrooms were cooking, I heated up some olive oil in the cast iron skillet, adding the broccoli first then, when they started to soften, the carrots next.  Again, I seasoned everything using the same curry and Turkish seasoning, tasting all along the way.  When the broccoli and carrots were nearing completion, I added the mushrooms in, then, finally the kale to quickly wilt.  On a whim, I removed the vegetables from the skillet then deglazed the skillet with some hard cider, scraping up all the browned bits using a wooden spoon.

All that remained was to plate it all up, at which point I stirred in a rather generous helping of goat cheese to add some creaminess (you’ll notice goat cheese appears often in my cooking) and then wolf it down!


I hope you find some inspiration from this and make your own delicious meal!

Making Athlete Food – Eat Your Veggies Soup

November 5, 2015

Lately I’ve been inspired to try to not just clean up my diet, but make some big changes in the kinds of food I eat.  Instead of just eating more of the same kinds of salads and such I’d been eating, I’m branching out into foods I haven’t tried much before, which in turn makes me be more adventurous in my cooking.  I’ve never really talked much about my cooking in the past on this blog, but it’s really one of my favorite non-exercise-related hobbies.  In fact, I even used to have a whole separate blog for it, though that featured food that generally wouldn’t be described as “athlete food.”  But now, armed with some skills learned through a BCAE class taught by The Skinny Beet’s Katie Chudy, I’ve started cooking all sorts of things I never thought would enter my saute pan, up to and including heretofore verboten mushrooms!  A big part of this new approach to cooking has been a lack of recipes and a corresponding attempt to just go to the grocery store armed only with what I know about cooking and flavor combinations, which I’d like to think is a reasonable amount of information, and then just shop for ingredients on the fly.  All this means that I often won’t have recipes, per se, to accompany these posts, but I will try to describe the ingredients to the best of my memory and the cooking techniques used.

With that intro out of the way, here’s my Eat Your Veggies Soup!


Above, you have all the ingredients I used to make this soup after they’d been peeled.  The ingredients are:

Purple sweet potato

I chopped the rutabaga, carrots, parsnip and sweet potato into roughly equal-sized chunks and the onion into wedges, then threw them all into a pot before filling a Dutch oven with water to the point where the veggies were covered.


Looking to make a soup that really evoked the flavors of fall, I added the following spices to the water:

Ground allspice
Ground cloves

The next step?  Simmer the pot until the veggies are all cooked through, which, to me, means they break up easily with a fork.  As the cooking continues, be sure to taste the broth every now and then and adjust your seasoning as necessary.  You may also need to add more water as it boils down.

Once the veggies have reached this point, add the kale and apples, chopped up into pieces roughly the same size of the other veggies.  I added these two ingredients right at the end because they cook very quickly.


Let both the kale and apples soften up, then you’re ready for the last step, which is blending everything together!  I used a stick blender for this step, which makes everything pretty simple and avoids having to transfer things into a blender, then back into another container.  If you don’t have a stick blender, just scoop the concoction into a blender, blend, and remove to a different container.  However you get there, when everything is finally blended together you’ll want to taste the soup, not just for seasoning, but consistency as well.  If it’s too thick, just add some water to thin it out.  This was my final, blended result.


Too add a touch of creaminess and tang to the soup, I finished it off with some goat cheese before serving it…to myself.


While the soup took some time to make, most of that time is attributable to the veggies cooking.  I’d say, all told, I probably took about an hour from the time I started unpacking the groceries to the time I sat down with a bowl of soup in front of me.  Really, my only regret about the soup is its brownish color, which I’d attribute to the purple sweet potato.  Still, it tasted pretty darn delicious and made for a lot of leftovers.  If you’re looking for a comforting way to eat your veggies, give this soup a shot!

Vineyard Sprint Triathlon

October 28, 2015

Sometimes it takes a while to get up a race recap because things are busy at work, or in life in general.  Sometimes I’m just super lazy.  We may never know which of the two resulted in the delay in getting up this recap of the 2015 Vineyard Triathlon.  For the first time, the race included a sprint distance, which is what I opted for, not wanting to tack on another 1/2 Ironman at the end of the season.  The sprint distances were 1/3 mile swim, 13 mile bike, and then a 5K run, pretty standard fare for sprints.

Races on Martha’s Vineyard, as a general rule, are low-key affairs.  If you go into any race, with the possible exception of the Vineyard 20 Miler, expecting the same experience and logistics as a “mainland” race you’ll wind up stressing yourself out and will have a less positive experience as a result.  For example, that same week I ran a 5K in Edgartown that failed to mention on its website that 2 miles would be on singletrack trail and required roughly 5 round-trip shuttle trips to get everyone from the “start” aka finish of the race to the actual location the race started.  Chalk it up to Vineyard racing.  What this meant as it relates to the Vineyard Tri is that we were getting emails from the RDs up until a couple nights before the race with logistics info on packet pickup, transition info, etc. instead of the 30 page Athlete Guide you might get from a WTC race.  While this might be a little scattershot of an approach for some, the RDs replied quickly to follow up emails to address any missing info.  While the emails certainly conveyed the needed info, I think a comprehensive guide on the website might help centralize information and avoid any confusion for next year.

So, on to race day.  It being off-season on MV, parking was the easiest I’ve ever had for a triathlon, maybe for any race ever.  After body marking, I headed into transition to set up my area.  One nice thing about the race was that the transition area didn’t close, like ever.  This avoided the rush and stress that can come when trying to make sure everything is set up before it closes.  At the same time, be prepared to make your own spot without much guidance on where to go as the only real direction was for the half Iron distance racers to rack in one spot and the sprint racers in another section.  Again, different from a larger race, but not an issue unless you get stressed out by that sort of thing.

Speaking of getting stressed out…the state of the ocean on race day was most definitely my biggest source of stress.  It was a grey day and the swells were strong.  The sea was, indeed, angry that day, my friends, so much so that it caused a friend to bag on the sprint race.  Still, the water temp was pretty perfect at least.

IMG_6168 IMG_6182 IMG_6183

I didn’t attempt any warm-up in the ocean, partly because I didn’t want to wig myself out, partly because I allowed absolutely no time for it.  When the race started on the beach of Oak Bluffs I took my normal position towards the back of the pack, knowing it’d be especially necessary on a day like that to find my own space and not worry about other racers among the waves and in my first ocean race.


Almost immediately I knew this was going to be a slog of a 1/3 of a mile, not because of my swim shape (at least not any more than usual) but because of the conditions.  Heading out to the first buoy meant swimming into the waves, which meant it was nearly impossible to sight.  I also was not a fan of the constant up and down movement in the water, which served to really throw off my rhythm.  There’s simply no way around the fact that this was a brutal, somewhat demoralizing swim for me, but it did not end the race.  Eventually I made my way out of the water, up the beach, across a street, over about a foot tall stone wall, and into transition to move on to my strengths.


[A note for the RDs, should they be reading this, on the swim: While the green color of the first buoy likely wouldn’t be a problem on a sunny day, it was difficult to sight on a gray day combined with the water color.  Similarly, the orange t-shirts of the in-water volunteers nicely matched the orange swim buoys, making it tough to tell quickly where one was supposed to be swimming to!]

I most definitely could have made up some time in T1 if I hadn’t let my swim time get to me.  I don’t think I was hustling through it quite as quickly as I could have but, that’s how it goes!


You can’t tell from this picture, but I’m rocking my new Black Dog socks in this picture.  And, what’s that you say?  New bike?  Why, yes!  That is a new bike!  Right before the race I took the plunge and got a 2014 Cannondale Slice TT bike from Cannondale Sports Cambridge.  I digress here slightly to, once again, praise my friends at this great shop and, in particular, Craig The Manager.  They did both the fitting AND cutting down of necessary components, i.e. the seatpost and aerobars, all in the course of a day, allowing me to take the bike down to Martha’s Vineyard with me and race on it.  I’d also like to thank Greg at Edgartown Bicycle for doing a fit check and adjustment, and bailing me out with a quick pedal installation (along with quick ordering of a rear hydration system).

I set out on the ride hoping for a fast result on the new machine.  With only 131 ft. of elevation gain over 13 miles, it promised to be a fast course, with a tailwind on the final stretch along the water.  Despite a summer of riding on the island, I had spent very little, if any, time on the first half of the course, which made it a little more mentally engaging.  Combined with having a fair number of people to chase down after the swim, I had plenty of motivation to keep my legs pumping, particularly after being chased down by Chilmark Coffee Company proprietor Todd Christy on his roughly 84 year old bike.  Now, one thing I did not plan for was the effect the salt water would have on my respiratory system, or nasal system, or something.  Basically my nose was leaking the entire ride, which was not especially comfortable.  Next time I’ll know to grab some tissues in T1 and stuff them in my pocket.

The highlight of the leg was definitely the stretch from Edgartown back to Oak Bluffs along the beach, which is really the highlight of most rides on MV for me.

Bike Leg

Even though I’d been riding my CAAD8 with aerobars, the Slice is an entirely different animal and I was still getting used to the position during the race, which meant being up on the horns more than I would have liked at the end of the race when I could have really taken advantage of the aero position.  Still, I came in with an official time of 36:27, roughly a 21 mph average, and good for the second fastest bike split on the day.


As I ran my bike into transition, Rebecca excitedly told me I was in fifth place overall, an unexpected development.  This gave me an extra incentive to try to have a quick transition, and soon I was off to see if I could hunt any of my fellow competitors down.



I felt pretty good heading out on the run and figured I had little to lose by just going for broke on it.  The only real hill on the course came a little under a mile into the leg.  I’m sure it felt a lot steeper than it actually was, but it definitely hurt at the time.

Run Elevation

Soon after the crest of the hill I caught up with Todd, who not only updated me on placing, but really encouraged me to keep pushing on and finish strong.  It really was the boost I needed to keep driving towards the finish.  The next two miles were fairly uneventful, and I ended up with splits of 7:11, 7:12, and 7:07.  It felt great to close with my fastest mile, not something I usually do in either road races or triathlons.

I came into the finish line feeling fairly triumphant and pleased with how the race went as a whole.


I ended up coming in 4th place overall and taking my first Age Group win for a triathlon, pretty neat I’d say!  Rebecca and I celebrated with an amazing lobster roll from the Net Result, but not before enjoying some amazing espresso drinks from Chilmark Coffee.  With what may be the absolute coolest perk ever for a race, Chilmark Coffee donated free coffee (including lattes etc.) to the race via a mobile coffee bar.  Immediately after racing, Todd got right to work pulling shots.


Good guy Todd is a good guy.


With the race only being in its second year, there were bound to be some growing pains with it.  Some constructive suggestions I’d make for next year would be:

  • Clearer directions from the water to transition
  • Block out the transition area by race number
  • Designating mounting and dismounting zones for the bike leg
  • More clear markings for the turn to the finish line on the run

Before signing off, I’d add this note: Be nice to RDs.  I haven’t always followed my own advice here, but ever since my tantrum at the Marblehead JCC Tri, I’ve really worked on that aspect of my racing.  RDs work tremendously hard to put on any event, let alone a triathlon, and do their best to put on a great event for the athletes.  If you think the race could be improved in some way, take the time to talk about it with the RD, who wants you to come back and have a great race the next year.  Alight, off my soapbox.

This was a fantastic, fun, unique experience of a race.  This is literally the one chance you get to do a triathlon on Martha’s Vineyard and I’m really looking forward to coming back and defending my age group next summer!

Thank you as always to Rebecca for cheering and taking all the great pictures you see here!

Happy racing all!




2016 Boston Marathon Charities

September 17, 2015

Greetings readers! I’ve tried to make a habit of putting each year’s Boston Marathon charity information all in one place to make it easier to find information on each one, particularly where to go to apply as the BAA site’s given web addresses aren’t always the best place to go.  I’ll keep updating this list with more charities and information as it becomes available.  Good luck in applying!

American Liver Foundation

Since 1989, the Run For Research program has made a dramatic impact on the American Liver Foundation’s mission – to facilitate, advocate, and promote education, support, and research for the prevention, treatment and cure of liver disease.  Last year’s team raised over $1.1 million and had team members from across the United States, Canada, and the Philippines. Team members receive a comprehensive training program presented by our seasoned team coaches for runners of all levels, informative team meetings and fun social events, weekly group runs, two long runs on the Boston Marathon® course, race day gear, and complimentary massages, showers, and snacks post-race. To help runners excel in raising funds, the American Liver Foundation also provides fundraising tips, resources and supplies.  Join us this season as we run to fight the over 100 types of liver disease!

Program Benefits

Our longstanding Run for Research program has been revered as one of the most supportive, energizing, and fun charity teams.  Team benefits include:

  • Access to our seasoned coaches
  • Training plans catered to specific ability levels
  • Saturday team runs
  • Two long runs on the Boston Marathon® course
  • Team meetings & social events
  • Patient Runner Connection Program
  • Personalized fundraising webpage and fundraising assistance
  • Discounted Marathon Weekend hotel rooms at the Westin Copley Place Hotel
  • Marathon Weekend Events: Team Brunch Celebration, Post Marathon Party with complementary showers, massages, food & more!
  • Race day shirt or singlet

Daria Zavarelli
Campaign Manager
617-527-5600 ext. 2032

American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts

The American Red Cross of Massachusetts, through its networks of volunteers, donors and partners, enables ordinary people to act in extraordinary circumstances by providing hope and care, and by preparing communities to face the unexpected. The American Red Cross of Massachusetts serves 351 cities and towns across the Commonwealth with a population of over 6.6 million people.  Funds raised by Team Red Cross help support our vital programs and services across our service areas: Disaster Relief, Service to the Armed Forces, Health and Safety Training, Biomedical Services, Food and Nutrition Programs, and International Services.

Nicole Marcotte

American Stroke Association – Tedy’s Team

“Tedy’s Team,” is a group of runners raising money for the American Stroke Association through their training for the Boston Marathon® and many other major road races. Their participation supports Tedy Bruschi’s fight against stroke and honors both the survivors and the loved ones lost to America’s No. 4 leading cause of death. Tedy’s Team is striving to reach as many people as possible in its message of recognizing the warning signs and acting appropriate when seeing them – calling 9-1-1 immediately.

Elizabeth A. Perry
Vice President, Athletics

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is one of the nation’s preeminent academic medical centers. We are committed to excellence in clinical care, biomedical research, and education, and to the health and wellness of our patients and our communities.

At BIDMC, our goal is to serve our patients compassionately and effectively and to create a healthy future for them and their families. BIDMC is home to a world-renowned academic research program where scientific discoveries are helping to transform medical care. A major teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, BIDMC has raised medical education to a higher level, with a strong program that enhances our ability to attract top faculty and residents. Our nurses have a longstanding reputation of leadership in patient care and compassion, and our focus on safety and quality patient care has helped establish us as a national leader in health care quality, safety, and transparency.

Team BIDMC Boston Marathon runners support these efforts to effectively provide outstanding personalized care for all of our patients.

Amy Fisher

Minimum Fundraising Requirement: $6,000

Boston Bruins Foundation

The Boston Bruins Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation whose mission is to assist charitable organizations that demonstrate a strong commitment to enhancing the quality of life for children throughout New England. Since its inception in July 2003 by the Jacobs Family, the Foundation has raised more than $19 million dollars through a series of fundraising events. The Foundation, which provides grants to organizations that meet the standards of its mission, concentrates on athletics, academics, health, and community outreach programs that assist in helping enrich the lives of children throughout New England.

Join our team on Marathon Monday and proudly wear the BLACK and GOLD to help raise awareness and funds to support those in need from our community.

The Boston Bruins Foundation is now accepting applications for our 2016 Boston Marathon Team. For the 2016 race, all runners must commit to raising a minimum of $5,500.00 for the Boston Bruins Foundation. In return, runners will receive some Boston Bruins race day swag, race day amenities, and viewing parties to help with your fundraising.

Applications are due prior to Wednesday, October 14, 2015. All submissions require a $50.00, non-refundable donation to the Boston Bruins Foundation.

Runners will be notified by Friday, November 13, 2015, if they were or were not selected to run the 2016 Boston Marathon on behalf of the Boston Bruins Foundation.

For any questions please contact foundationintern@bostonbruins.com or call 617-624-1981.

Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation

The mission of the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation is to extend the reach of the Celtics championship legacy into our community through programs that directly benefit children in need. To do this, the Foundation applies a team mentality much like that of the 17-time world champion Celtics – and relies on key partnerships with New England-based non-profit organizations who provide vital services to youth and to whom we offer funding and resources to help increase our collective impact in the community.

Cynthia Brennan

Boston Children’s Hospital

Founded in 1869 as a 20-bed hospital for children, Boston Children’s Hospital has been ranked as one of the nation’s best pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for the past 21 years. Boston Children’s is the primary pediatric teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School and the largest provider of health care to Massachusetts children. In addition to 395 pediatric and adolescent inpatient beds and 228 outpatient programs, Boston Children’s houses the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries benefit both children and adults. Funds raised through the B.A.A Boston Marathon Charity Program help keep Boston Children’s Hospital in the forefront of pediatric care, research, training and community service, ensuring the best care available to all children.

Ali Felcher

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

One hospital. Two extraordinary marathon teams. Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is excited to assemble two outstanding Boston Marathon teams: the Life.Giving.Breakthroughs. team, dedicated to raising funds across all disciplines and disease areas at BWH, and the Stepping Strong team, inspired by a Boston Marathon bombing survivor, and dedicated to fueling innovative research and clinical programs to advance trauma healing. A proud partner with the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.), our two teams are united in a powerful mission: transforming the future of medicine for patients and families here in Boston and around the world.

Caroline Duncan

Minimum Fundraising Requirement: $5,000

Camp Shriver at UMass Boston

For the past decade, Camp Shriver at the University of Massachusetts Boston has welcomed over 1,000 children, half with and half without intellectual and developmental disabilities, ages 8-12, from low income families in the Boston area to a free inclusive summer sports camp.

Attending a day camp in the summer is a typical life experience for most children, but many barriers can impede the participation of children disadvantaged by socio-economic or disability status. For example, many camps in the Boston area are expensive or are unprepared to meet the needs of children with disabilities.

Camp Shriver is unique in that it fully addresses both these potential barriers. While other summer programs may accept some children with disabilities or offer scholarships to lessen the cost to families, Camp Shriver provides the summer camp experience to an equal number of children with and without disabilities and does so at no cost to their families, who come from low-income neighborhoods or are otherwise disadvantaged.

At Camp Shriver, all children have the chance to learn and play – as equals.

Applications for our 2016 Marathon Team are now open and are due by October 31.

Members will receive access to:

  • a comprehensive marathon training program with the support of a professional running coach in partnership with several other Boston Marathon charities – the Boston Marathon Coalition,
  • sponsored weekly training runs, including water stops and a 21-mile long run from Hopkinton into Boston,
  • kick-off event in November at the Museum of Science and Marathon Day amenities including a meeting room at the Westin Copely hotel near the finish line,
  • fundraising support, including one-on-one phone calls / meetings with a development professional,
  • Camp Shriver running gear, and
  • additional team meetings and events to be announced!

Barbara Gildea

Cops for Kids With Cancer

Cops For Kids With Cancer is a charity that gives money directly to families who are dealing with the challenge of having a child sick with cancer. The volunteer charity board consists primarily of Police Officers and/or retired Police Officers who want each family to feel the positive reinforcement that someone else cares. These families are each awarded $5000 to help relieve the stress of financial burdens and hopefully put a small smile on their face. If you can imagine, you can understand. Cops For Kids With Cancer does not have salaries or expense accounts, all monies are returned to the families in need.

William Coulter

CYCLE Kids, Inc.

CYCLE Kids is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission of strengthening the emotional and physical health of kids by inspiring them to lead active and nutritious lifestyles through a supportive, in-school biking and nutrition program. Through teamwork and goal-setting exercises, kids gain confidence, learn important knowledge and skills, and become more comfortable socially with peers and mentors. They begin to bike to school and engage in this fun activity with their family and friends outside of school hours, getting them active every day.

Thanks to the strong curriculum and the support systems that the program fosters, CYCLE Kids has seen 52% improvement in physical activity of students, 71% improvement in nutritional intelligence, and 48% improvement in personal and social growth. Our programs are primarily in low-income communities in Massachusetts, as well as in 8 states across the country. With 45 programs, we reach more than 3,000 students and families each year.

We are thrilled to be an official charity of the 120th Boston Marathon. A partnership between CYCLE Kids and the Boston Athletic Association in the 2016 Boston Marathon is a partnership for the health and wellbeing of children and families in our community.

To be considered for the 2016 CYCLE Kids Boston Marathon Team, you will need to download a packet of information that will include the 2016 CYCLE Kids Marathon Team Guidelines, an Application, and a Liability Waiver. Once you have read these documents and filled out the required information, please sign and date them and mail all three items to us by November 12th, 2015. You will be notified by December 1st, 2015 at the latest if you have been selected for the team. We will be notifying runners on a rolling basis.

A non-refundable $100 application processing fee will be charged to your card when you submit your application.  Minimum fundraising requirement: $5,000

Julianne Idlet

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Help reach the ultimate finish line—a world without cancer—by running the Boston Marathon for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), a global leader in adult and pediatric cancer treatment and research. Dana-Farber is acclaimed worldwide for its comprehensive approach to state-of-the-art, compassionate patient care and its “bench to bedside” continuum from laboratory research to novel therapeutics. The Institute is the top ranked cancer hospital in New England for the 15th consecutive year, and is the only cancer center in the country ranked in the top four for both adult and pediatric cancer programs.

The Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) is a team of Boston Marathon invitational and time-qualified runners united by their personal commitment and determination to conquer cancer. Now in its 27th season, DFMC directs all funds raised to the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research, a critical Dana-Farber initiative at the forefront of transformative scientific discovery.

DFMC teammates have a rewarding, memorable experience while supporting a superb, pioneering institution:

•  Fundraising made easy and fun
•  The best training program around
•  DFMC Patient and In-Memory Partner Program
•  Marathon weekend festivities
•  Exclusive amenities and commemorative items
•  Unsurpassed camaraderie and volunteer support

Team Requirements for DFMC ’16 Invitational Entry Runners
For runners using a race entry provided by Dana-Farber

  • $75 team registration fee
  • $5,000 basic fundraising commitment (amount set by the B.A.A.)
  • $600 race entry fee (amount set by the B.A.A.)

Dana-Farber Running Programs
617-632-1970 or Toll-free 800-551-7036

Doug Flutie Foundation

The goal of the Flutie Foundation is to help families affected by autism live life to the fullest. Through our programs and partnerships, we help people with autism get access to care; lead more active lifestyles; and grow toward adult independence.

Susan Hurley

Dream Big!

The mission of Dream Big! is to help girls from low-income situations achieve their dreams by providing them with the basic items and program fees needed to enable them to participate in sports and physical activities that contribute to their health, education, and overall well-being.

Dream Big! partners with organizations, schools and community health centers in economically disadvantaged communities to identify and fulfill the equipment, uniform, athletic footwear, program fees and training needs of girls from low-income situations, in elementary, junior high and high school in order to help them engage in sports and physical activities helping to lay the foundation for healthy, active lifestyles and quality learning experiences.

In addition Dream Big! works to create opportunities for girls to develop social connections with peers and mentors; maintain healthy, active lives; assume leadership roles; and grow physically, emotionally, and socially through sports, clinics, camps, sporting events and the annual Dream Big! Leadership Conference for female athletes from urban communities.

Dream Big! equipment donations, program scholarships, sports clinics and the Dream Big! Leadership Conference impacted over 6000 girls and young women from 50 different sports programs and schools in economically disadvantaged communities last year. Funds raised through the B.A.A. Boston Marathon Charity Program will help Dream Big! to further breakdown the economic barrier that currently prevents many girls from participating in sports and physical activities by increasing equipment, athletic footwear and sports attire donations, program scholarships, sports clinics and training opportunities available to girls in need.

Team Requirements for Dream Big! Marathon Team Numbers

  • $40 non-refundable team registration fee
  • $5,000 basic fundraising commitment (amount set by the B.A.A.)
  • $350 race entry fee (amount set by the B.A.A.)

Linda Driscoll

Family Aid Boston

FamilyAid Boston is proud to have the generous contribution of non-qualifying charity marathon bibs from the John Hancock Boston Marathon Non-Profit Program for the 2016 Boston Marathon. These numbers will be assigned to runners who are not time-qualified for the Marathon based on each applicant’s responses on the FamilyAid Boston application. Please return applications as soon as possible but no later than Friday, October 23, 2015.

Hale Reservation

The Hale Outdoor Learning Adventures program is a proud partner of Boston’s Public Schools Summer Learning Project (SLP). The four main goals include: (1) reversing summer learning loss in English Language Arts (ELA) and math, (2) helping students develop the vital social-emotional skills that research supports are necessary for school, college, and career success, (3) strengthening school-community partnerships through high quality programming, and (4) promoting student health and wellness.

The achievement gap between low-income students and their higher-income peers is explained largely by unequal access to learning opportunities beyond the school day. Summer is an especially precious resource. Students who don’t participate in learning programs lose substantial knowledge and skills gained during the school year. This well documented “summer learning slide” most adversely affects low-income students, is cumulative across a young person’s lifetime, and represents an expensive leak in our educational pipeline. Mounting evidence suggests that quality summer programs can stem this loss and, in some cases, even accelerate students’ progress.

Today’s youth struggle with a mounting obesity epidemic and the lure of technology that typically discourages physical activity. Studies show that physical activity is directly linked to brain health. Additionally, time spent outdoors leads to mental stimulation and has numerous health benefits, including improved eye development and auditory processing. Being outdoors and active is paramount for healthy youth development.

If providing healthy outdoor living and educational opportunities for low-income Boston students resonates with you, we encourage you to apply and Run like Hale!

Paula McLaughlin
781-326-1770 ext. 18

Joe Andruzzi Foundation

Save the date! On Monday, April 18, 2016 – Marathon Monday – the Joe Andruzzi Foundation’s “Team JAF” runners will take strides against cancer at the 2016 Boston Marathon® for the sixth straight year.

Team JAF is made up of charity runners, as well as those receiving entries through qualification or outside invitations. All fundraising by Team JAF members directly supports the Foundation’s mission of providing help, hope, and a reason to smile for cancer patients and their families.

To be notified when Team JAF’s 2016 Boston Marathon application period opens, email TeamJAF@joeandruzzifoundation.org.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a national voluntary health organization whose mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families. Team In Training is the Society’s signature fundraising campaign. It is the first, largest, and most successful endurance sports training program of its kind. To date, Team In Training has trained over a half a million athletes and raised over $1.2 billion dollars nationally in the race to find a cure for blood cancers.

Why run with the TEAM?
All Team In Training (TNT) runners will enjoy:

  • Individualized coaching from certified coaches with multiple years experience coaching for Boston Marathon.
  • Weekly group training runs on the Boston Marathon course, supported by volunteers at water stops and cheer stations. 
  • Weekly track workouts in the Boston-metro area. 
  • Personalized fundraising website, as well as multiple fundraising resources based on our 27 year old fundraising program. 
  • Mentoring from past participants. 
  • Inspirational pasta party and victory celebration.

Louise Popp

Requirements for TNT Runners (non-Waivered)
– $150 TNT registration fee
– $350 B.A.A. registration fee
– $5,000 fundraising commitmen (as set by the B.A.A.)

Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation

The Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation Inc. was formed by the parents of eight-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed during the April 15, 2013 bombings near the finish of the Boston Marathon.

In the days after the bombing, a photo of Martin holding a handmade poster that read “No more hurting people. Peace” went global and made many see Martin as a symbol of peace. Martin loved learning, sports and the world around him. He participated in the BAA Children’s Relay on Marathon weekend for three consecutive years, was a school “peacemaker,” and recognized at a young age that while we are all different, we are all the same. The way Martin saw the world, anything was possible.

His parents, Bill and Denise determined it was fitting that the foundation should honor Martin’s message of peace by investing in education, athletics and community.

The mission of Martin’s foundation is simple: The Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation honors Martin’s message of “No more hurting people. Peace” by investing in education, athletics and community.


Minimum Fundraising Amount: $7,500

Melanoma Foundation of New England

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, killing one person every 50 minutes. It is the 2nd most common cancer in teens and young adults ages 15-29. However, when caught early it is almost always curable. The Melanoma Foundation of New England was founded in 1999 with the goal to make New England melanoma free. We provide support and advocacy programs for melanoma patients and their loved ones and work to increase public awareness of sun-safe behavior and the importance of early detection. Since our first runner crossed the finish line in 2005, our Running for Cover marathon team has raised over $1,000,000 to support our mission of education, prevention and support in the fight against melanoma.

Our runners will receive membership to Joint Ventures marathon training program, training support from our team captains, exclusive meet and greet with Honorary Team Captain Bill Rodgers, informative team meetings and celebratory team events, team long runs on the marathon course, Running for Cover team apparel, private pre-race team space in Hopkinton, and lots of sunscreen and lip balm for protected running! To help our runners exceed their fundraising goals, MFNE also provides fundraising tips, resources and one-on-one help. Team Running for Cover consists of both qualified and charity runners. Despite coming from different backgrounds and levels of running experience, each of our runners share a passion for our cause. Many of them are survivors, family members of survivors, or lost a loved one to melanoma. It is their dedication that helps spread awareness and educate others. Together we can outrun melanoma!

Amy Mason

Requirements for Invitational Entry Runners:

Invitational runners have not received an official race entry through another source.

  • Raise a minimum of $5,000 by May 18, 2016. While the required minimum is set at $5,000 per runner, additional consideration will be given to runners who are willing to make a more aggressive fundraising commitment (in 2015, runners accepted to our team committed to $8,000-$10,000+).
  • Submit a non-refundable $20 application fee upon apply to the team. If accepted, this fee will be applied towards your fundraising.
  • Submit a non-refundable $100 processing fee, valid credit card information and signed team contract upon acceptance to the team. This fee will not be applied towards your fundraising.
  • Pay a BAA race application fee of $350 (subject to change) in addition to your fundraising minimum.
  • 18 years of age or older by April 18, 2016.
  • Capable of running a marathon in less than 6 hours.

Team Benefits

Qualified and Invitational  runners will receive all of the same great team benefits!

  • Guaranteed Race Entry for the 2016 Boston Marathon
  • Celebratory team events with Running for Cover members
  • Exclusive team training clinics and Joint Ventures marathon training program 
  • Training support from seasoned marathoners, Dr. Robin Travers and Greg Earley
  • Meet and Greet with Honorary Team Captain, four time Boston Marathon winner Bill Rodgers
  • Fundraising tools and support to help your exceed your fundraising goals. Additionally, you will have a unique fundraising website where you can share your story and accept secure online donations.
  • Private pre-race team space in Hopkinton where runners can stretch, eat and get ready for their run
  • Fundraising contests and incentives
  • Exclusive Running for Cover apparel
  • Cheering section for family members and supporters along marathon course
  • Sunscreen and Lip balm for protected running
  • The knowledge that you are running to support MFNE’s mission of education, prevention and support!
  • and more!

Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership

Apply now to join Team MBHP 2016!

We are accepting applications on a rolling basis now through November 9. Spaces may be filled before then, so submit your application now!

Basic financial requirements to participate as a nonprofit runner include:

  • $5,000 fundraising commitment (minimum set by the nonprofit program).
  • $350 race entry fee (fee set by the B.A.A.).

MBHP welcomes qualified and other runners who already have a 2016 Marathon number and want their marathon experience to include transforming lives.

  • We will work with you to set and achieve a personal fundraising goal.
  • Contact Mary Jo Kane at at maryjo.kane@mbhp.org or 617.425.6705 to find out how you can join the team.

Members of Team MBHP receive

  • A personal fundraising web page and on-line tools that make fundraising easy.
  • An invitation for you and your supporters to attend our annual Marathon Celebration.
  • A training program and support from MBHP’s in-house marathon coach.
  • Regular team meetings and Team MBHP dinner.
  • Team MBHP singlet.
  • Support for fundraising and outreach efforts.
  • Incentives for achieving fundraising milestones.
  • And much more!

Application deadline is November 9.

MetroWest YMCA

The MetroWest YMCA responds to community needs through affordable wellness, educational and recreational programs that help strengthen and support MetroWest area children and families.

The Y is dedicated to providing programs and services that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. In order to achieve the Y’s overall goal of strengthening community, the Y focuses on three major areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

The MetroWest YMCA is a cause-driven charitable organization. One of every 8 people at the Y receives Y financial assistance. Team MWY Boston Marathon runners will raise funding for financial aid, to enable more children and families to learn, grow and thrive.

Miriam Kimball
508-879-4420 x53

  • Applicants must raise a minimum of $5,000 by April 24th or pay the balance in full themselves.
  • Runners will become members of the MWY Boston Marathon Running Team and will receive
    an individualized personal training program, including a training schedule, running group class, weekly group runs, positive encouragement, fundraising guidance and tools, injury prevention training and safety topics to help runners meet their marathon goals.

Submit your application today! Go to metrowestymca.org  and click on the  Boston Marathon link

The application fee is $25. Selection from applications for the Marathon number will occur on November 6th at which time a non-refundable deposit of $100 and a credit card number will be required. The deposit will apply toward the fundraising goal.  For questions, please contact mkimball@metrowestymca.org.

Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Center

The mission of the The Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Center is to create a home away from home for children and adults with disabilities, a place that offers parents time off from the emotional and physical care needed by their children. The Respite Center now provides intensive support services for families including daycare, after school care, adult day programs, overnight respite care, supervised residential placements and community employment supports.

Wendy Sousa

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation 

Support the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), recognized as one of the most significant innovators in cancer research. Founder Kathy Giusti was recently named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, recognition for her leadership and the MMRF’s transformational way of developing and conducting medical research and drug development.

The work of the MMRF is dramatically improving the outlook for patients with multiple myeloma. Since its inception 16 years ago, the life span of a myeloma patient has more than doubled. The treatments being developed with funds from the MMRF are now being explored as treatment for 30 other cancers. The MMRF directs an exemplary 90% of its budget to research and related programming, consistently earning the foundation ranking in the top 1% of all charities by the nation’s leading charity evaluators, like Charity Navigator.

Jane Hoffmann

National MS Society

The Marathon Strides Against MS team is comprised of invitational and qualified runners who are dedicated to creating a world free of multiple sclerosis. Team members raise funds to support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s leadership in funding cutting-edge research and treatments to stop progression of the disease, to restore all function lost to MS, and to end multiple sclerosis forever.

The Society’s Greater New England Chapter help 21.000 individuals and families affected by multiple sclerosis in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.  Eighty-four (84) percent of monies raised by the Chapter helps address the challenges of each person affected by MS through MS education, emotional support, public advocacy, facilitating independence, and financial assistance to help individuals and families keep their lives moving forward.

Nancy Dlugoenski
413-659-0036, ext. 87301

Neurofibromatosis Northeast

Since 1988 Neurofibromatosis Northeast has had runners participating in the Boston Marathon and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for NF research and patient support.

If you would like to be considered to be on a future NF Boston Marathon team, please contact Diana Flahive, Director of Special Events at dflahive@nfincne.org and we will forward you an NF Marathon Team application when it becomes available.

Going forward, NF Marathon team members will not be selected on a first come, first serve basis, but through an application process. Space on the team is very limited and top consideration will be given to those applicants who commit to hitting fundraising goals at or above $7,500.

New England Patriots Foundation 

The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation is the nonprofit organization established by the Kraft family in 1994 to support charitable and philanthropic agencies throughout New England. This support comes in the form of direct grants and the donation of signed memorabilia to charitable causes, as well as from Patriots players who offer their support by appearing at charity functions throughout the year. The funds raised by the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation’s Boston Marathon team will be earmarked for the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards program. For more information about the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, please visit www.patriots.com/community.

Susan Hurley

Project Purple

Attention all runners! Project Purple is now accepting applications for the 2016 Boston Marathon team. We’re looking for runners of every stripe, so don’t be afraid to submit your application for consideration. At the moment, we are not making any decisions about team members. If you want to be considered once we start choosing runners, please submit your application soon. The selection process will start sometime in early fall.


  • Guarenteed Entry
  • Personalized Training
  • Coach Bus to the Start of the Race on race morning
  • Group Training runs in the Boston area
  • Customized web page for on line donations
  • Team Uniform
  • Pre Race Dinner
  • Post Race Party

Signing this application only serves to verify that you’re human. It doesn’t guarantee you a spot on the team or oblige you to participate if you are selected for the team.

If you’re having trouble with the application, or have questions about the team, please contact Elizabeth Mauldin atelizabeth@run4projectpurple.org.

Red Sox Foundation

The official team charity of the Boston Red Sox, the Red Sox Foundation harnesses the power of Red Sox Nation to support select programs serving at risk children and families across New England. The Foundation’s efforts are primarily focused on our cornerstone programs, including the Red Sox Scholars Program, which provides mentoring, enrichment programs and a college scholarship to academically talented but economically disadvantaged Boston public school students, and the Red Sox Foundation’s RBI and Rookie League youth baseball and softball programs serving inner city children and teens each summer. The team charity also supports the new Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with combat stress and traumatic brain injury, The Dimock Center in Roxbury, serving more than 40,000 low-income families in Boston’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods as well as The Jimmy Fund, supporting breakthrough cancer research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

The Red Sox Foundation has won a number of awards including Major League Baseball’s first-ever MLB Commissioner’s Award for Philanthropic Excellence and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Sports Philanthropy Project Patterson Award as “Best Team Charity in Sports.” We are honored to partner with the BAA and 100% of the proceeds raised through our charitable team’s participation in the Boston Marathon will be used to support the Red Sox Scholars program and RBI youth softball/baseball programs. For more information about our nonprofit cornerstone programs, please visit www.redsoxfoundation.org. We thank the BAA and all of the Red Sox Foundation’s Marathon runners and those who support them – with each mile, you are helping to close the opportunity gap for disadvantaged youth in our community.

Gena Borson

Run to End Alzheimer’s

As part of our team, you will receive:

Training Support
Receive a personal training program tailored for your running level, professional coaching, and fully-supported weekly team runs through the training season.

Fundraising Support
Get fundraising ideas, strategies, support and one-on-one fund raising coaching to help you easily meet and easily exceed your personal commitment!  You’ll also get access to a personal online fundraising site and a press release tailored for publication opportunities in local media.

Team Info Sessions
Get expert advice on training, injury prevention, nutrition, race strategies and more at our monthly meetings in our Watertown, MA office.

Team Gear
Wear your official, complimentary Run to End Alzheimer’s singlet with pride.  In addition, our online store has additional Alzheimer’s team gear at reasonable prices.

Team Recognition
Including special get-togethers during the training season, a pre-race recognition banquet and post-race celebration.

Run to End Alzheimer’s Boston Marathon participants are as passionate about the cause as the event. Most have a personal connection with Alzheimer’s disease. That’s why the majority of our runners exceed the charitable fundraising minimum of $7,500 per runner for non-qualified entrants and $1,750 for those who secured their own entry.

Team Brookline

Team Brookline is the Town of Brookline’s official Boston Marathon team. Established in 2012 by the Town and managed by Brookline Community Mental Health Center, the team benefits four local charities that play an integral role in strengthening and enriching our community: Brookline Community Mental Health Center, Brookline Education Foundation, Brookline Library Foundation, and Brookline Teen Center. Since the program’s inception, Team Brookline runners have raised more than $650,000 – an amazing accomplishment that has made a true impact in the lives of all who live, work and study in Brookline.

Questions about Team Brookline? Interested in sponsoring the team or volunteering? Please contact team manager, Greta Teller.

Are you a runner with a passion for mental health? Want to run the 2016 Boston Marathon to expand access to care for adults and children in our community? As a member of Team Brookline, you’ll receive:

  • Official 2016 Boston Marathon number
  • Individualized coaching and training
  • Personalized fundraising support
  • Weekly training runs on the race course
  • Camaraderie of training with a team
  • Fulfillment of running for a great cause!

Applications due September 30, 2015. Please select Brookline Community Mental Health Center as the referring charity on your application.

Tenacity, Inc.

Founded in 1999, Tenacity, Inc. serves over 5,000 City of Boston students annually with high quality programs that impart the skills and resilience needed for under-served youth to lead productive, successful lives.

The Tenacity Pathway to Post-Secondary Success is comprised of year-round programs serving students aged six through college graduation with academic enrichment, tennis instruction and competition, and other life enhancing experiences. Over 98% of our Middle School Academy graduates earn their high school diploma; 70% of those students pursue post secondary academics.

Funds raised through the B.A.A. Boston Marathon Official Charity Program directly support the free programs Tenacity, Inc. offers City of Boston youth.

Caroline Lane
508-259-3594 or 617-562-0900

Tenacity will field a team of 15 charity runners. The minimum fundraising requirement to be considered for the team is to raise $5,000 by April 18, 2016. Tenacity Marathon Team runners typically raise $7,500 on average.

Tufts Medical Center

Tufts Medical Center is a world-class, not-for-profit, 415-bed academic medical center that is home to both a full-service hospital for adults and Floating Hospital for Children. Located in downtown Boston, Tufts Medical Center offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services for adults and children and is the principal teaching hospital for the Tufts University School of Medicine.

Founded in 1796 as the Boston Dispensary, Tufts Medical Center is the oldest permanent medical facility in New England and one of the first hospitals in the nation. For more than 200 years, Tufts Medical Center has pioneered innovative programs in clinical care, biomedical research, education and health care delivery.

Team Tufts MC aims to raise funds through the Boston Marathon to support our mission to heal, to comfort, to teach, to learn, and to seek the knowledge to promote health and prevent disease. We dedicate ourselves to furthering our rich tradition of health care innovation, leadership, charity and the highest standard of care and service to all in our community.

Lauren Tedeschi
Development Coordinator, Events

Members of Team Tufts MC you will enjoy a variety of benefits, including:

  • Personalized training and nutrition assistance from our experienced team Coach
  • Team Tufts MC running singlet and runner gift
  • Team social outings and pre-marathon pasta dinner
  • Fundraising incentives
  • The ability to make a huge impact on the lives of our patients and their families

Minimum Fundraising: $5,000


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