The 2013 Boston Marathon won’t commence for over four months, but preparations for Rochester resident Phil Cordeiro are well underway. In April, Cordeiro will participate in his second Boston Marathon as a part of a team of 100 runners representing Massachusetts General Hospital.
“Several years ago, I started running to improve my health and fitness,” said Cordeiro. “Once you start the process, you go down this road of wondering whether or not you can run a marathon.”
After he was contacted, Cordeiro began a rigorous 16-week training program in order to prepare for the big race. While he is utilizing the same training program this year, no program would prepare him for the racing conditions he endured last year. A random, 90-degree heat wave struck Boston in the middle of April, making conditions for all runners quite grueling.
“I finished happy and healthy,” said Cordeiro. “It was a great experience, but it was very difficult. I’m going to be honest; part of me is doing it again this year for a little bit of redemption. I’m hoping for better weather.”
From now until April, Cordeiro will be running four days and an upward of 40 miles per week. Additionally, he will alter his diet to cater to his training.
“It is a pretty heavy commitment and it is a lot of time away from your family, especially in the winter, but it was necessary” he said. “ You have to eat the right food to fuel for the next run. It was a lot of restriction that I hadn’t encountered up until that point. It was quite a learning experience for me.”
Cordeiro, like every runner participating in the marathon, must raise at least $5,000 in order to qualify. He says his goal is between $7,000 and $8,000. As part of the Massachusetts General Hospital Team, all proceeds raised by Cordeiro and fellow runners will benefit children and families battling cancer.
“You’re fundraising with them in mind. It gives you the motivation to continue with the cause,” he said. “It’s gut wrenching, but it’s morale boosting at the same time. They’re motivating you just by their very existence.”
In addition to his fundraising goals, this year, Cordeiro hopes to run a sub-four-hour marathon. He also encourages anyone who might be on the fence about running to start small with a 5K. From there, runners can gradually increase to a 10K and half-marathon until they are ready to complete a full marathon.
“I didn’t think I would be doing this years ago,” he said. “There are more runners than you would think out there. Bonding with a friend on a light weekend run is good motivation and builds your confidence. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to go.”
To help Cordeiro reach his fundraising foal, visit http://www.crowdrise.com/TeamMassGeneralHospital/fundraiser/philipcordeiroto make a donation.
By Katy Fitzpatrick