On April 17, the 2017 Boston Marathon will kick off with more than 30,000 running through Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Wellesley, Natick, Brookline, Newton, and Boston. On behalf of the New England Acura Dealers (NEADA), the official automotive sponsor of the 2017 Boston Marathon, Acura of Peabody will be providing Cheryl George (47), a teacher from Danvers, Mass., with a sponsored entry to the race.
"Knowing that [the Boston Marathon] is the sacred mecca for all runners, there is magic that surrounds it. It's like the Olympics, and yet it takes place within 30 miles of my town!" said George.
She had previously volunteered at the Mile 6 Hydration Station in Framingham in 2014 and 2015. "It was such a rush to see elites like Shalane Flanagan, Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall, Sheri Piers, and so many other runners battling it out within feet of me! I loved high-fiving all the runners who stopped for water and I vowed I would run it someday."
As a Boston Marathon rookie, George is looking forward to toeing the start line and hearing the gun. But perhaps one of the greatest thrills will be running through Mile 6, where her school has its hydration station set up. She hopes that seeing fellow colleagues and students will give her the extra push to get through the Wellesley Scream Tunnel, Heart Break Hill and down Boylston to the final chute.
"We have the opportunity to make an impact in our community, not just sell cars. It is a pleasure to give Cheryl the opportunity to get her toes on the starting line in Hopkinton," said Joel Avery, general manager of Acura of Peabody, "Everyone knows about the Boston Marathon, whether they run or not. There is a real sense of pride and ownership that folks feel about the 26.2 miles."
Avery and Acura of Peabody have fully embraced the NEADA "We Are Boston" campaign. Within days of receiving coveted entries into the 2017 Boston Marathon, he had lined up runners with the community on the mind.
Avery said, "I know the finish line which will be emotionally rewarding for Cheryl and I am in awe of the training, devotion, and guts it takes to accomplish this goal."
Look out for Cheryl, she will finish strong, run off all those Easter Peeps, and make about 30,000 new friends!