Runner of the Month

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Amanda McCann - September 2020

We are thankful to celebrate Amanda as Runner of the Month this month. When the Boston Marathon was postponed, Amanda ran it locally anyway. When it went virtual she ran it again, making a giant splash of Boston Marathon energy all around Nashua! She continued supporting the kids of Camp Shriver, and in fact earned the most money of her entire charity team for 2020. When wished good luck before her Virtual Boston recently, she was appreciative but said "This marathon is not for me. It's for the kids and all those that have supported them." We'd say her heart was in the marathon, or maybe for the kids of Camp Shriver, but we suspect that her heart was with Michael the whole time. Thank you for sharing some of your thoughts this month Amanda and we hope you'll take advantage of a free session with our sponsor, Peak Recovery & Health Center.

Who is Michael and how did you meet him?

Michael is my Buddy I run for. I have been running for him for 5 years through a program called I RUN 4 Michael (it is just a coincidence that his name is also Michael.) When I dedicate my runs/workouts to someone who can’t, it brings my level of purpose and commitment to a whole new life. Pushing myself to new heights while creating a meaningful, long-lasting friendship with my buddy. I feel my running provides hope, support, and inspiration.

Michael at home with a poster of Amanda and the medals she has sent him on the wall.
Michael at home with a poster of Amanda and the medals she has sent him on the wall.
Michael smiling with a Teddy bear.
Michael smiling with a Teddy bear.

How many times have you run the Boston Marathon?

Five: 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

You've raised money for Camp Shriver - can you tell us more about the camp, why you chose that charity, and what helping out the kids means to you?

Amanda and some of her Camp Shriver kids
Amanda and some of her Camp Shriver kids
I have raised over $37,000 for Camp Shriver 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Two of those years 2017 and 2019 as a qualified runner as well. I feel Camp Shriver chose me as you need to apply every year to run for Charity. However, I decided to apply to run Boston in 2014 after working in the Finish Line Medical Tent in 2013. I felt I needed to help reclaim our Finish Line – Boston Strong. I researched the many charities and needed to find one that meant the most to me and that I could relate to. I was a Special Olympic Coach for 8 years and once I read what Camp Shriver was about, I knew in my heart this was it. At Camp Shriver, inclusion means that every camper can learn and play together--every time and at every activity! That's why since 2006, Camp Shriver at the University of Massachusetts Boston has welcomed children, 50% with and 50% without intellectual and developmental disabilities, ages 8-12, from low income families in the Boston area to a free inclusive summer recreational camp.

Camp Shriver serves an equal number of children with and without disabilities so that all children can play and learn—as equals. All the funds raised by our fantastic Team Camp Shriver members will directly support over 150 children at camp this summer or in our school year program, Saturday Camp.

When Boston was postponed and then cancelled, but went virtual, how did you react? How long did it take you to decide to run it virtually?

Even though it was expected (and the correct decision both times!!) I still found sadness. However I never doubted doing the Virtual Race. I actually completed 2 Virtual Boston's - I did my first on the original Boston Date April 20th and then again September 13th. They both were amazing experiences, It is an honor to run for Camp Shriver. I had to stick to my commitment for the kids, for all my donors and supporters so I brought Boston to Nashua.

Virtual Boston Marathon April 20th 2020!

Amanda McCann smiling and running in a Camp Shriver T-shirt
Amanda McCann smiling and running in a Camp Shriver T-shirt
Amanda McCann finishing her April 20th 2020 Boston Marathon run
Amanda McCann finishing her April 20th 2020 Boston Marathon run

Virtual Boston September 13th!!

Amanda breaking the finisher tape held by her young niece and nephews.
Amanda breaking the finisher tape held by her young niece and nephews.
Amanda holding a tiny winners cup toy prize after finishing her virtual Boston Marathon.
Amanda holding a tiny winners cup toy prize after finishing her virtual Boston Marathon.

Why do you run?

Simply because I can!! For my mental and physical well being. For the comradery, it's my HAPPY PLACE. To inspire others. Gives me purpose and drive.

How many miles do you run in an average week both during peak and off-peak times?

Peak 50-60 miles a week, Off peak 30-40 miles per week.

What is your next race?

Currently participating in the Mine Falls Autumn Trail Series.

Do you follow any runners on social media?

Des Linden and Courtney Dauwalter

What has been your favorite club activity since you've joined?

Mill Cities, competing with the team for the NH Grand Prix races and New England Grand Prix and Gate City Marathon.

How do you motivate when you don't want to run?

Remember those who can’t – MICHAEL MY BUDDY!

What advice do you have for new members of the club?

‘NEVER SAY NEVER”!
Do not use the words “JUST” and “ONLY”!

What is your favorite race?

The Boston Marathon.

Do you prefer to run in hot/humid or cold temperatures? Do you like running in the rain? In the snow?

I would say any day is a good day to run..but ideal conditions would be overcast and 40-50 degrees. I also love running in a warm light rain!!

Outside of running, do you crosstrain and how?

Road bike, Gym – strength training, I also try to incorporate a regular stretching, foam rolling (actually really like the ORB and ROLL 8 RECOVERY tools) Yoga and member at PEAK recovery.

What is your favorite flavor of gel/GU?

I use the UCAN products.

What made you decide to start running?

I was always an athlete and competed in organized sports my whole life and even played Division 2 Softball. I started running in 2009 – I needed a change both Mentally and Physically in my life. It started a much-needed transformation with a 80lb weight loss, a new happiness and positive outlook in my life and the best part is the friendships I now cherish. THE RUNNING COMMUNITY IS AMAZING AND MY SECOND FAMILY!!

AmandaWeightLossa

Do you listen to music while you run?

I do not listen to music, I enjoy taking in the environment- sights, views and sounds of every run and conversations with my running partners.
However, I do use music to get pumped up before a big race and training run.
Run Run Run – Michelle Lewis
The Champion – Carrie Underwood
The Final Countdown – Europe
The Time of My Life – David Cook
Best Day of my Life – American Authors
Feel Like a Rock Star – Kenny Chesney

What is your most useful running accessory?

My recovery tools – foam roller, ORB, Roll 8 Recovery, my ultimate direction hydration vest and I would say all my running partners 😊

GOALS – BUCKETLIST:

Continue running Boston Marathon for Camp Shriver.
During the COVID Pandemic I found a new love for trail running so yes GHOST TRAIN!

COVID made me take some time to myself and remember why I run and to RUN 4 THE LOVE OF RUNNING BECAUSE I CAN – not for pace, time or speed to JUST RUN, JUST SHOW UP TO MY HAPPY PLACE I look forward to running for LIFE and adding more endurance and distance!!