When Wenham resident Greg Mazman starts the Boston Marathon in April, he’ll have two things on his mind.
The first will be breaking the four-hour mark. The second - which is much more important to him - will be raising money for, and raising awareness of, cancer research.
“There aren’t many people who haven’t been affected by cancer in some way,” Mazman said. “Either personally or having a close friend or family member stricken with the disease."
Mazman is dedicating this year’s run to the memory of his friend Michele Malette and his aunt Leontine Byron, who both died of breast cancer.
Mazman ran the Boston Marathon in 2005 and 2006, raising money for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge, and in 2007 he ran to raise money for the Massachusetts ALS Association.
Mazman is excited to get back on the Boston course this spring.
“I had some really bad tendonitis the last few years, and that kept me from running from 2008-2010,” Mazman said from a business trip in Tampa, FL.
“I can’t tell you how glad I am to be back out there training for Boston, physically able to do it and raising money for a great cause.”
Mazman has pledged $10,000 to Dana-Farber this year, and he’s close to reaching that goal from many generous donors.
“The support has been great, I know we’re in tough economic times, but people have been wonderful with all their financial support,” Mazman said.
Mazman is currently running three days a week, with 10-20 hours of serious training, including distance running and speed work.
With a goal of running under four hours, Mazman hopes to finish between 3:50-3:59 on Patriots’ Day.
Off the road, Mazman has been taking TRX Suspension Training at studios in Salem, and weight training combined with yoga at Mary Hart’s Iron Crow Yoga Studio in Wenham.
“Every time I put on my sneakers to head out on the roads around Wenham and Hamilton to train, I take a minute to remember why I’m doing this,” Mazman said.
“I’m 54 years old and I’ve been blessed with good health, so anything I can do to help Dana-Farber is great.”
Mazman will hit the pavement with thousands of other racers at the Hopkinton starting line on April 18.
If you would like to support Greg this year, you can go to the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge website and click on “Gregory Mazman.” You can also reach Greg on Facebook to find out more on supporting him at the 2011 Boston Marathon.