Ed Carpenter is not a runner, but on Marathon Monday each April, running is his favorite sport. He has been a Boston Marathon volunteer since 1987 and can prove it with all the volunteer jackets hanging in his closet.
Ed volunteers in the pressroom, tracking the lead males all the way from Hopkinton to Boston. He is on the phone with a bike spotter who reports all updates from the front of the pack to Ed. “We are like a well-oiled machine at this point,” Ed said.
Volunteering for the Boston Marathon is just one of the ways Ed is involved in the Boston community. From 1977 to 2006, he worked at Boston University, retiring as the Assistant Athletic Director for Communication. He now serves on three boards at BU; BU Friends of Athletics, BU Athletic Hall of Fame, and BU Retired Staff & Faculty.
Since retiring in 2006, he works part-time as a Fenway Park tour guide. “I could spend eternity at Fenway,” he said. He loves sharing the history of the team and meeting people from all over the world. “I admit my tours go longer than the designated hour, but I just love telling stories,” he said.
Ed’s personal pride for Boston fuels everything he does in this community, especially as a volunteer. The Boston Marathon is more than a race to him. “It is a day we show the world how much pride we take in our city,” he said.
Ed currently resides in Stoughton, MA and enjoys spending time with his family, including 5 children and 7 grandchildren.
“Ed has been involved with Boston sports for many years and it shows. He understands the Boston community and embodies the pride we all take in the Boston Marathon.” - Boston Athletic Association
Javier Cheung started volunteering for the B.A.A. in 2009 after becoming a member of the Cambridge Running Club. “It started off as a job. The club asked me to help organize volunteers for B.A.A. events,” he said. “Now, however, it is far beyond that for me.”
Since 2009, Javier has volunteered annually at the B.A.A. Half Marathon and B.A.A. 10K. He has worked runner registration, shirt distribution, wave start and his personal favorite, medal distribution. “My favorite part is when the later waves of runners cross the finish line,” he said. “Many have accomplished something far out of their comfort zone, so seeing them tear-up and smile with their medals is the most inspiring part.” Javier ran the 2008 B.A.A. Half Marathon and the 2011 Boston Marathon, so he understands the hard work it takes to cross the finish line. He doesn’t run as much these days, but loves supporting his friends as a volunteer and spectator at B.A.A. races.
Javier is engaged throughout the Boston community. He is still an active member of the Cambridge Running Club and enjoys cheering on his fellow club members at local races, including the Boston Marathon. Outside of the running world, Javier coaches basketball for the Special Olympics and every Thursday he works one-on-one with elementary school kids helping them read. “I love helping to develop such an important skill,” he said.
For Javier, volunteering is more than the job itself. “Now, I feel like I am helping out while being with friends,” he said. He encourages first-time volunteers not to feel intimidated and to just enjoy every part of the experience as he does. “I don’t do anything extraordinary,” he said. “Just the best I can for the B.A.A. and the city.”
“Javi keeps everyone in good spirits with his infectious smile and happy personality. Individuals like him who organize larger groups of volunteers really make the B.A.A. Volunteer program run smoothly.” - Boston Athletic Association
Troy Botts started volunteering with the B.A.A. in 2012, and in three short years has become a standout volunteer. He has been an avid runner for about many years, participating in numerous races including the Chicago, Maine, Hartford, and Marine Corps Marathons.
He learned about B.A.A. volunteer opportunities as an employee of State Street in Quincy, MA. “As a runner, I was excited by a chance to volunteer for the running community,” he said. Troy’s first assignment was with bus unloading for the 2012 Boston Marathon. “Since then, if I don’t run in a B.A.A. race, I am volunteering at it,” he said.
Troy now organizes State Street volunteers for the Boston Marathon. In 2014, over 200 of them volunteered on Boston Common helping runners check bags before they left for Hopkinton and pick them up after crossing the Finish Line. “I love managing and interacting with everyone on my team,” he said. At other B.A.A. races, Troy helps with volunteer check-in and anywhere else there is a need. He says he simply enjoys volunteering no matter what the task may be.
Troy will always remember being recognized as a B.A.A. volunteer one afternoon as he was walking down the street. “It made my day,” he said. “A runner remembered me, had a good time and felt inclined to tell me.”
Outside of the B.A.A., Troy volunteers year-round at local food pantries and churches. He also teaches kids about the basics of finance and money at Boston-area Citizen’s Schools, YMCA’s, and Boys & Girl’s Clubs.
When asked what advice he would give to first-time B.A.A. volunteers, Troy did not hesitate: “Soak up every second of it,” he said. “It goes fast and there is so much to take in.”
“Troy’s ability to connect with people makes him a natural leader that other volunteers are drawn to. He has a quick-wit and rolls with on the spot changes, making him an all-star volunteer.” - Boston Athletic Association
As a child, Mary McManus wanted nothing to do with athletics. She contracted paralytic polio when she was five years old and constantly struggled with any sort of physical activity. At age 53, Mary was diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. Her doctors told her that she would need to quit her job and eventually use a wheelchair. Mary, however, refused to accept this as her fate.
She started physical therapy at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. After 6 months she set her sights on a goal that would change her life; she wanted to run the Boston Marathon. “I wanted to shed my identity as someone who was handicap,” she said. After a year of training, Mary completed the 2009 Boston Marathon as a mobility-impaired runner. “I channeled the energy of the crowd and volunteers from Hopkinton to Boston,” she said.
This energy inspired Mary to give back as much as she could to the running community. When it’s not possible for her to run in a race, she volunteers wherever she is needed. In 2011, she volunteered at the B.A.A. Half Marathon, encouraging runners as they navigated Franklin Park Zoo. She joined the packet stuffing team for the 2014 Boston Marathon and worked with fellow volunteers to prepare for the arrival of 36,000 runners. Most recently, she volunteered at the Kids Fun Run Races for the 2014 B.A.A. 10K.
Mary’s involvement in the running community extends beyond the B.A.A. She volunteers at local races including Boston’s Run to Remember, the Falmouth Road Race and most recently the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon. She helps with marathon training runs for members of her own L-Street Running Club, and is involved with other non-profit organizations including the National MS Society and 2020 Vision Quest.
Whether it is as a runner, spectator, or volunteer, Mary makes it a priority to support her new-found community. “We are truly a family,” she said.
“Mary exhibits a true love for the running community in everything she does. Her determination and willpower teaches us to stay positive and that life has no limits.” - Boston Athletic Association