Every April, thousands of runners hit the pavement for the 26.2 mile course from Hopkinton to Boston for the annual running of the Boston Marathon. In September, however, the runners aren’t running; they’re walking to help cure cancer. Mattapoisett resident Ed Talbot is one of those walkers.
Talbot will join the ranks of thousands of walkers who will be participating in the 24th Annual Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk on Sunday, September 9. The route follows the exact course of the marathon except all proceeds from the walk will benefit the Jimmy Fund and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute instead of the charity of the runner’s choice.
“My main motivation was that my mother passed away from cancer after an eight-year battle so I saw the suffering and I saw the hurt,” said Talbot. “I also have a friend who is currently battling it. He just finished his first round of chemotherapy and radiation so hopefully everything will be okay.”
Talbot is no stranger to the 26.2-mile course as he has completed the Boston Marathon six times and run a total of 20 marathons in his running career. This will be his fourth time participating in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. One might think walking would be easier than running, but Talbot begs to differ.
“I would run it any day versus walking,” said Talbot. “You are on your feet longer when you’re walking and when you’re running, you’re used to a faster pace. Boston is very deceiving. Everyone talks about the uphill portion, but for the first 15 – 16 miles, it’s all downhill so that beats up your quads. By the end of the race, you’re really sore.”
Talbot usually finished the walk between seven and a half to eight hours averaging 16 – 17 minutes per mile. While the course is tough, the Jimmy Fund makes the route as accommodating as possible, providing aid stations and food along the way. But there’s something even more special to be found during the walk.
“It’s so inspiring to see all the survivors along the way,” said Talbot. “There isn’t a family cancer hasn’t affected. We’ve been battling this disease for so long.”
Talbot will join seven walkers from Days Sports Shop in Fairhaven. The team, who calls themselves “Days Sports Spinners,” met while taking a spin class together. Since its inaugural year in the Jimmy Fund Walk four years ago, the Spinners have raised $10,000.
“It makes it much better having a group,” said Talbot.
Even though the Spinners have raised $3,000 so far, there is still plenty of time to donate to Talbot’s team. Log on to www.jimmyfundwalk.org and search for Talbot’s last name to make a donation. Every little bit of money helps in the fight against cancer.
“We are getting so close to finding a cure one of these days eventually it will happen,” said Talbot. “Think of the millions of people it will help. It’s inspiring.”
By Katy Fitzpatrick