Burlington runner gets ready for Boston Marathon - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington runner gets ready for Boston Marathon

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The Boston Marathon is less than two weeks away. It marks the one year anniversary of a bombing that left a city with a new motto "Boston Strong" and runners inspired by more than just the endurance it takes to make it through more than 26 miles.

The last year has been a tough one for Chuck Podesta. He has been by his wife's side as she has battled stage three breast cancer. She was in the midst of her treatment as he began preparing for the Boston Marathon and now he is using that race to honor the people he loves the most.

 "I started wearing bands...you can see I've got them for everybody. I've got pancreatic cancer for my brother, this is Carol, I've got ‘Boston Strong' of course, and my father died of lung cancer," said Podesta. 

 In a way, Podesta wears his heart on his sleeve.

Each step he takes out running helps him work through those struggles. That is especially true as he has watched his wife Carol fight breast cancer.

"The running actually helped me just to get out there and burn off some energy and allow you to think," said Podesta.

Podesta says he was at a loss after watching the Boston bombings on TV last year. The next day he did the only thing that felt right, he went for a run on the bike path in Burlington.

"There had to be 25 to 30 runners out. That's when I realized we were all doing the same thing and we started high fiving each other. We just realized all we can do is run," said Podesta.

He has been training for the Boston Marathon since December. 

"I got my Dana Farber shirt and first thing I thought was I got to decorate this thing and first thing is put your name on it because you want people to say 'go chuck', just kidding, you need some moral support during the race. I actually write it on my arms too," said Podesta.

"We'll be printing his name here and then he's going to have his number," said Curt Prestash, art director for Amalgamated Culture Works.

But it is the names that will go on the back of this jersey that mean the most. That's where Prestash comes in.

"Screen printing by its nature, most of the work is getting everything set up. Once we get everything set up we typically print a hundred, five hundred shirts. In this case we're getting everything set up and we're printing one and that's it," said Prestash.

Names of people Chuck will run each mile for appear on the back of his jersey in different colors.

Each color is carefully added where the name is to be stenciled on. 

There are 26 names, one for each mile he'll be running. It is sent through a drying machine which is the last step of the process. His wife chose mile 20.

"She thought about it more and she said, 'what's the number for heartbreak hill.' I was like, 20. She goes I want to be mile 20 because she said chemo was her heartbreak hill," said Podesta. 

Podesta says, his wife feels like she is at heartbreak hill right now. Her treatment is done, but they still have scans to go.

"She's in pink for breast cancer and she's also going to be there and she's going to be on heartbreak hill," said Podesta. 

Podesta and his wife feel like they are both running marathons and both look forward to making it over heartbreak hill and to the finish line.

There is all of this goodwill surrounding the marathon, but it does come with a warning. That's the sad reality of such an emotional event. The Better Business Bureau that serves Vermont is warning folks to be careful what charities you choose to donate to.

One charity consumers can be sure to trust is the One Fund. It was formed right after the bombing and helps the people who were most effected.

One sure way to know you're giving to a legitimate charity in Vermont is to check to see if they have registered with the Vermont Attorney General's Office.

That's something they have to do under Vermont law.


For a link to the One Fund click here. And for a list legitimate charity options click here.



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