Norton residents Kim Greene, 38, and her husband, Vin, 37, are running the 115th Boston Marathon April 18 to raise money for Catholic Charities' Basic Needs Services. These programs provide financial assistance to people who are struggling to pay for food, fuel, rent and utilities.
Their goal is to raise $10,000 total, and $5,000 each. So far, Kim and Vin have raised a total of $5,276.80. “That is equivalent to 754 bags of groceries, or 100 gallons of oil for 18 families,” Kim said.
To make things interesting, Kim and Vin have a little competition going. Team Vin is ahead in donations by about $770, but Team Kim has run more training miles.
I will do anything to keep people interested in our challenge and eager to support us,” Kim said.
Together, they’ve completed around 70 races over the last 20 years. This is Kim’s third marathon. In 1997 she ran the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, and last year she ran the Boston Marathon. This is Vin’s third consecutive Boston marathon. They have raised a grand total of $16,371.60 over the last three years for the Catholic Charities’ Basic Needs Service.
With the rise in grocery and home heating oil prices, the Basic Needs Service has been struggling to meet the demands of the people utilizing the program. Instead of people having to choose between the two, Kim hopes that her family’s efforts will let them have both.
“We strongly believe in their mission to build a just and compassionate society rooted in the dignity of all people,” Kim said. “On a personal level, I am the oldest of three children raised by a single mother. I remember watching her struggle to pay for rent and groceries when I was growing up. So I want to help provide assistance to people in that situation now.”
Though the Boston Marathon holds a special place in Kim’s heart, it is a grueling course. The first eight miles steadily decline, putting pressure on the legs. And then there’s the uphill battle...literally. When she got to Newton Hills last year, Kim was forced to walk a few times.
“I was passed by a guy pulling his own oxygen tank and a blind runner, before I even got to Heartbreak Hill!” she exclaimed. “When my husband passed me, that was the final straw – I started to cry and then got really mad. We traded the lead a few times after that, and I ended up finishing ahead of him by about 7 minutes.
“For me, the worst part is the mental battle,” Kim said. “There’s a lot to think about before, during and after the race.”
But this year, she is more prepared. Instead of solely concentrating on running, she has been following a marathon training plan and mixing in cardio, strength training and stretching. She is supplementing that with group exercise classes and a mixed-levels yoga class.
Kim and Vin’s training has also had a surprising impact on their daughter, Victoria. Last week she went to a playgroup and spent all the gym time “running a road race.”
“She sees both of us out running, or on the treadmill when the weather doesn’t cooperate, and talking to people about why we are raising money to run Boston,” Kim said. “It’s hard to explain a concept like “social justice” to a 4-year-old, but she understands that we are helping other families to stay warm and have healthy food to eat. My dream is that someday she will be old enough to take on a challenge like this, and that we have shown her the right way to do it.”
Kim and Vin will be hosting two fundraiser events. The first is Friday, April 8, 6 to 8 p.m. at Kidz Wurld in North Attleboro. Admission is $9 per child, and there is a suggested donation of $2 per adult. Refreshments and raffle tickets for a variety of items donated by Greene family and friends and local businesses will also be sold.
The second event is Sunday, April 10, 2 to 3 p.m. at Breathing Space Yoga in Dighton. This is a beginner-level yoga class suitable for all levels. Suggested donation is $10 per person. Everyone who attends will be entered into a drawing for a silver cuff bracelet and metallic scarf.
All proceeds from both events are going directly to Catholic Charities Basic Needs Services. For more information visit www.ccab.org/marathon/KimGreene.html.
OTHER NORTON RUNNERS
Denise M. Donovan
Catherine Gilbertie Knipper
Sarah E. Goodell
Karen A. Kelleher
Mark F. Luke
Neal F. Noonan
Daniel J. Pitts
Monique C. Robitaille
Ronald L. Robitaille