By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Southborough – Some patrons of Southborough Library might be surprised to learn that their longtime children’s librarian describes herself as “a gym rat.” Focusing on running in recent years, Kim Ivers is looking forward to Monday, April 17, when she’ll run her first Boston Marathon. Perhaps less surprising to local residents, she’s partnering with three library patrons to fundraise for causes personally meaningful to her.
Growing up in Southborough, Ivers watched the Boston Marathon on television. She got the chance to see the iconic race in person with schoolmates while attending Wheelock College.
“We’d go near the finish line,” she recalled. “It was an amazing number of runners. They had already run so far, yet still going strong.”
During the summer of 2013, Ivers needed a new challenge and registered for her first sprint triathlon. She participated in Iron Girl Webster.
“I hadn’t been on a bike in a long time and had swum only for fun, not for competition,” she acknowledged. “I was happy to finish in just over two hours.”
By spring 2014, Ivers was ready for her next challenge. She completed the Johnny Kelley Half Marathon in Hyannis – with photos to prove it.
“About a half mile from the finish line, I saw my husband with a camera,” she relayed. “Alongside me, he’s taking pictures, saying, ‘You’re almost there! You can do it!’”
Since then, Ivers ran in four more half marathons: Disney World Princess in Orlando, Fla.; Smuttynose Rockfest at Hampton Beach, N.H.; Chilly Willy in Seekonk; and Bristol Independence Rhode Race in R.I. While training for these half marathons, Ivers began considering the possibility of going the extra miles toward the Boston finish line.
“After doing a couple half marathons, I thought maybe I could do more,” she said. “Every year, I’d hear people I know in Southborough say they ran the Boston Marathon and it’s the most incredible experience.”
In 2016, Ivers completed two full marathons: Cox Sports Providence Marathon in May and the Marine Corps Marathon in October in Washington, D.C.
“Both marathons were memorable,” she said. “Providence was memorable because it was my first one, my parents and husband were at the 26-mile mark, and the feeling of finishing was pure exhilaration.”
While running in D.C., Ivers appreciated the patriotic scenery including the Arlington National Cemetery, U.S. Capitol Building and Washington Monument.
“When you finish the marathon, there’s a whole line of Marines, shaking your hand and thanking you for running,” she relayed.
After registering for this year’s Boston Marathon, Ivers researched potential benefitting charities. She became aware of the Claddagh Fund from its development assistant Samantha Dlott, also a Southborough Library patron.
According to its website, “The Claddagh Fund supports community-based nonprofits with a focus on programs that support children, veterans’ organizations, and alcohol and drug rehabilitation.”
On her fundraising page, Ivers shares her personal feelings about these causes: “As a children’s librarian, I am certainly in support of any organization that helps children. In addition, my husband is a veteran who also spent many years struggling with alcoholism. He was able to get the help he needed and this year proudly celebrated 31 years of sobriety. The connection we have to all three of these types of organizations makes me even more thrilled to make my marathon dream happen and be a part of helping others.”
Joining Ivers with fundraising for this charity are three moms, who are Southborough Library patrons and Boston Marathon runners: Nia Peltekis Benoit, Julie Fialkow and Lauren McAuliffe.
They’re collectively hosting a fundraiser Saturday, Feb. 11, 7 to 11 p.m., at Fish Restaurant & Wine Bar, 29 S. Bolton St. in Marlborough. For a $30 donation, the evening will feature appetizers, chowder bar and dessert, along with a cash bar. Live music will be provided 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. by Kings Left, a band consisting of Algonquin Regional High School students. A raffle and silent auction will raise additional funds. An emailed RSVP is appreciated and admission can be paid at the door. Contact Ivers at email@example.com or Benoit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations can be made online at the “Support Kimberly in 2017” fundraising page: fndr.se/cq2D.