Mike Fedotowsky set to run his virtual Boston Marathon from Williamstown
WILLIAMSTOWN — Mike Fedotowsky has only been planning Saturday's run for a short while, but his Williamstown virtual edition of the 2020 Boston Marathon is something that has been in the works for over a year.
Since he got into running last summer, Fedotowsky, 33, has continually pushed himself for longer and longer distances and faster and faster times. A brewery 5K with his girlfriend to help get in shape led to a half marathon in Maine last October. That led to him reaching out to Massachusetts General Hospital's Boston Marathon team, and his earning a spot for the 2020 event.
"Last summer I just felt I needed to get back in shape," said Fedotowsky on the phone during his drive to Williamstown on Thursday. "Everything was going so well with training and being invited to join the MGH team and raise money for their pediatric cancer program. Of course, that was until COVID-19."
The twists of fate brought about by the pandemic forced the Boston Marathon to be postponed to September, and then ultimately wiped out for 2020. Fedotowsky, who had been flying high with regular long runs gearing up for the big stage, was crushed.
"The initial training with the MGH team was awesome, and it was so tough losing that," he said. "It psyched me out trying to run over the summer on my own. When I heard it was moved to a virtual event, I essentially stopped training."
After a month or so of living in this new coronavirus world in the heart of Boston, Fedotowsky had a gut-check moment and shifted his focus to a rededicated training routine.
"I didn't want 2020 to be a waste," he said. "It was supposed to be one of the best years of my life, and with this screwing with everybody's life, I just wanted to still have a goal and make the year worth it."
With that renewed fervor came the idea to get out of the city and back to his roots.
A 2005 Mount Greylock graduate, Fedotowsky has lived and worked in the Boston area for more than a decade. But he grew up on the streets, fields and mountains of Berkshire County.
"I just thought it'd be special to do it back home. I know the roads, I have a friend who is going to drive along with me and we'll go by the youth center, Little League fields, schools, all these places that are special to me," he said.
Fedotowsky takes off Saturday at 8 a.m. from his parent's home on White Oaks Road, which is also where he will finish 26.2 miles later. The course takes North Hoosac Road down and across the river to the Williams College campus. There's an out-and-back down Main Street, turning back at Galvin Road. He'll then loop back around the college, before bolting down Water Street where he'll cross the 10-mile marker. The midway point comes further down what becomes Green River Road and Steeles Corners. There's an out-and-back on New Ashford Road and another on Hancock, which leads to Mile 20 at the start of Cold Spring Road. Fedotowsky will pass his alma mater and continue due north on Route 7 to Field Park and onward to North Street and Simonds Road. There's a hard right onto Sand Springs Road with a mile to go before the finish line at the intersection of Harrison Avenue and White Oaks Road.
Fedotowsky said the camaraderie and teamwork he experienced in the initial training phase, and meeting the team and doctors was the highlight for him through this experience. But without the fanfare of Patriot's Day in Hopkinton and finishing on Boylston Street in Boston, he's hoping to see many Berkshire locals out in the neighborhoods to bolster his drive.
Through his GoFundMe page, Fedotowsky has already raised more than $4,000 for the pediatric cancer program at Mass General. The site will be up and accepting donations through the weekend.
Mike Walsh can be reached at email@example.com, at @WalshWrites89 on Twitter and 413-496-6240.
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