Posted by: Staff | 04.15.2010

Ms. Henriquez, Race for Healthy Happiness

SEBASTIAN SMITH ’11

This coming Monday is patriot’s day, this happens to meet Beaver’s strict day off policy, so most students and teachers will get to sleep in after the weekend. However for a few committed teacher athletes including Cat Maher and Tara Paulauskas Monday is the day they will run 26.2 miles in the Boston Marathon. Alicia Henriquez will be running for the charity GoKids at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Ms. Henriquez still needs to raise money to reach her goal. To help out go to the link found here http://www.firstgiving.com/aliciahenriquez. If you are a beaver student tell your parents or teachers about Ms. Henriquez’s fund and send them the link. Here is a little more about Ms. Henriquez, running, and her charity.

Can you tell me about the charity you will be running for.

The Charity I’m running 26.2 miles for is GoKids at UMass Boston. GoKids is a state-of-the-art fitness and research facility that promotes being active and leading healthy lifestyles.

Who will benefit from the money you raise?

Underserved and underprivileged school-age kids and teens.

Why did you choose this charity?

Last year, the students I worked with at The Gavin Middle School in Dorchester were given the opportunity to GoKids to participate in research and learn and have fun by working out at the facility. I was able to see first-hand how important it was for my students to have this amazing opportunity. Unfortunately, this year GoKids was not able to afford to have my students back at the center because buses are too expensive even though the Gavin is only 10 minutes away. It is my hope that with the money I raise my students can visit the facility once again.

How long have you been working with your charity?

I signed on to be a charity runner for Go Kids in November. I’ve been working with Go Kids since October of 2008 when I was doing student teaching.

How did you start running?

I was never an athletic kid growing up. I didn’t play sports and was chubby, awkward and clumsy. In middle school I participated in track and field, and would usually run long distance races, such as the 400 and 800m. I was alright but nothing spectacular. In high school, we HAD to take PE (physical education), were tested on sit ups, push ups, sergeant jumps, and a 3 block run, and our PE grade was calculated into our school GPA. The only thing I was good at was the run. When I got to University, I decided that I should start working out and the best way to start was with running- all I needed were my legs and runners. (Runners- the Canadian word for  ‘running shoes’)

How long have you been running?

In Vancouver there is a 10km race called the Vancouver Sun Run. Over 50,000 people run it each year. In 2007 I decided I’d train for my first road race and ran the 2007 Vancouver Sun Run. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked on road races and I’ve done several of them, from 3miles to a half marathons, and soon, the Boston Marathon. I’m excited to go from 6miles to 26miles in exactly 3 years! I also love the idea of doing something I love and challenging myself to help others out. Besides the marathon, I’ve done a few races to raise money for other charities as well.

What have you done to train for this race?

Run. Run. and Run some more. I’ve also done a lot of strength training in my core and quads to get me up Heartbreak Hill. I over-trained and injured myself in February so I could not run for a month. Luckily, my physical therapist fixed me up and I’m excited to see five months of training pay off.

What are your goals for the Boston Marathon?

To cross the finish line with a smile on my face. Before my injury, I was on track to do a 4 hour marathon so I’d love to get as close to that goal time as possible.  Of course, going above and beyond my fundraising goal would also be an incredible accomplishment.

What are you looking forward to on race day?

I’m looking forward to the crowds and seeing the smiling faces of the Beaver Community as I run by. I will be writing the names of all who donate to my charity on myself so I can’t wait to see the looks I get from people when they see me covered in sharpie.

Anything you would like to add or say?

I’d LOVE to know where those who are watching the marathon will be standing (mile marker/intersection and right or left side of the street) so I can be on the look out for some moral support. Feel free to visit my fundraising website www.firstgiving.com/aliciahenriquez to see pictures of my students and I at GoKids, of me with Bill Rodgers, and a powerpoint about the partnership between The Gavin and Go Kids from last year.

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