From the March 11th, 2002 edition of the Metrowest Daily News...
Firefighters running for good reason
City's bravest raise money for Sept. 11 in Marathon
by Joe Sulman, news staff writer
MARLBOROUGH - Five city firefighters have a little more than a month to prepare for the Boston Marathon - and only a few weeks to raise money for their run.
The Boston Athletic Association released 100 race numbers to state firefighters who promised to raise at least $250 for charities supporting victims and their families of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.
To get a number, the city participants - four of whom are first time marathoners - have to raise the money by March 26.
"It shouldn't be to diffcult. people are pretty supportive," said Firefighter John Verock.
"The more money we raise, the better" said Firefighter Bill Taylor. "People who don't know how to channel their money to the 9-11 fund, this is a great way to do it."
Receiving numbers means the firefighters will be official runners in the April run and do not have to qualify. Taylor, Verock, and Firefighters Ken MacEwen, Mike Peckham and Jeff MacQuarrie have all started abbreviated training regimens.
"It's short notice for a runner to train for a marathon, but for a non runner it's almost impossible, said Taylor.
MacQuarrie runs a lot of 10K races, but he doesn't prepare for those. "I just go the starting line and run," he said.
The Department hosted a comedy show last month at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel on Route 20 that raised $25,000 for Sept. 11 funds.
The Marathon is the third opportunity for the Fire Department to raise money for Sept. 11 charities. "This is another way we can help out locally," MacQuarrie said.
Three Sept. 11 related charities can be chosen by firefighters for donations: the Uniformed Firefighters Association Widows' and Children's Fund, the New York Firefighter's Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Police and Fire Widow's and Children's Fund.
Other than MacQuarrie, none of the firefighters have ran such long distances before. "Let's not make any misrepresentations, I'm not going to break any worlds records here. It's for charity," Taylor said. "I've already started training", he said. I do 2, 3, 4 miles a day, as the time gets closer, I'll do a little more".
Besides the Comnedy show, the Department raised $43,000 for Sept. 11 charities in October in a voluntary toll road (with the Marlborough Police0 on Main Street.
Their normal charity is the Muscular Dystrophy Association, for which they run several fund raisers a year. They also take part in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life Cancer Walk every year.
"This is just another opportunity to do good", Taylor said. Whether firefighters taking part in this year's Marathon means they will be participating in others in the future is not clear. "Let's take this one day at a time", Taylor said.
Residents can donate by sending checks c/o Marlborough Firefighters Local 1714 to the Central Fire Station, 215 Maple Street, Marlborough, MA 01752.