By Jeff Slovin, Contributing Writer
John Ouano of Northborough, 47, running in his third marathon, and fundraising for Project Home
How many marathons have you run??How many times have you run Boston?
I have run two marathons – Chicago 2012 and Boston 2013.
Has this winter's weather affected your training routine??If so, what have you done to cope with it?
Winter training is always challenging. Conditions involving freezing temperatures, snow and ice always make running outdoors difficult and dangerous. This winter, running with the Northborough Saturday morning group has helped considerably. Not just having safety in numbers, but being motivated to just get out there with such a diverse and great group of folks has been very helpful and inspiring.
If you are fundraising, what organization are you raising money for??
I am currently running for the second year in a row for Project Hope. This is an organization that helps families move up and out of property. So far I have raised about $3,500.
If you ran Boston last year, what was your experience with what happened?
Running Boston last year was an incredibly amazing experience for me. The start of the race was full of excitement and anticipation after months of training. The tragic events at the end of the race brought forth a whole different set of emotions that I truly would rather not relive. All I can say is that I am truly heartbroken for the lives that were unnecessarily taken and the lives that were terribly affected by this senseless tragedy. I am deeply thankful for my family and friends being safe after those events.
Why are you running Boston this year??
Immediately after last year's race it was easy to decide to run again. For many, including myself, it is coming together to pay tribute to the victims and their families and show the kind of resilience and strength many of us have tried to live up to after that fateful day. On a more personal level, it is paying it forward to raise funds for this wonderful charity to really make a difference in the lives of the many families that Project Hope works with. Their resilience and hard work are an inspiration to us all.
Do you have an interesting marathon related story you wish to share?
Interesting would certainly be not the word I would use for my experience at the Boston Marathon last year. One amusing and actually significant thing occurred wherein I was running last year with my nephew's Flat Stanley on my back. For those of you who don's know Flat Stanley, he is a character that grade school kids send out all over the world to family and friends, who then write back to their classroom and talk about Flat Stanley's travels. After the race, there was much chaos and confusion. I was unable to find my family who were waiting for me at the finish line. Roads were blocked off, cell phone service was limited, and people were spread out everywhere. As I was walking down a side street off of Mass Ave., my friend and his wife found me because out of the corner of their eye they saw Flat Stanley on my back. It was an extremely emotional and gratifying experience to find them and subsequently got news of not just my safety, but more importantly the safety of my wife and children. Thank you Flat Stanley!
To support John Ouano, visit www.crowdrise.com/ProjectHope2014BostonMarathon/fundraiser/johnouano.