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Boston Marathon Runners
27 APRIL 2018

78 Team Members Challenged by Weather in 2018 Boston Marathon

“Historically awful.”  That’s what The Weather Channel called the weather for the 2018 Boston Marathon, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious running events. This year, the starting temperature was 38 degrees, the coldest start in more than 30 years.  Heavy rain and a strong headwind plagued the 29,960 runners for most of the 26.2 miles.

But for the 78 members of a team organized by the American Liver Foundation’s New England Division, it was all part of the Liver Life Challenge.

Team ALF members came from 19 different states in five different ALF Divisions–a true case of Division helping Division.  Athletes had different reasons for running–to test themselves, honor family members or in memory of a loved one.  But they all shared ALF’s goal: to promote liver wellness, provide help to those affected by and at risk for liver disease, and work to find better treatments and a cure for all liver diseases.

The team included people like T. Clark Gamblin, MD, MS, MBA, Professor of Surgery and Chief of Surgical Oncology at the Medical College of Wisconsin and a member of ALF’s National Board of Directors.  And Gaulien Smith, a Milwaukee barbershop owner who ran his first marathon, and Caitlyn Callinan, a New Hampshire teen who became the youngest registered Boston Marathon runner in history by running the Marathon on her 18th birthday.  It also included more than 50 individuals who were paired in one-on-one relationships with liver patients through the Division’s Patient-Runner Connection.

Dr. Gamblin spoke for all members of Team ALF.  “It was a privilege and pleasure to join the American Liver Foundation team for the Boston Marathon.  The people and purpose inspired me beyond any expectations and even amidst tough weather for racing, I am so grateful for the experience.” He added, “The commitment nationally has never been stronger and I am thrilled to be a part of such a dedicated group focused on liver disease and those it touches.”

The weather may have been historically awful, but as New England Division Executive Director Gail Favreau said, “This is the 30th time the New England Division has had a team running.  We have raised more than $20 million for liver research, and well over $670,000 this year alone.  For me, this day was LANDMARK!”

Tom Nealon
President & CEO
American Liver Foundation

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