Anyone familiar with the Boston Marathon knows it’s one of the biggest events in the running world — thousands taking over the streets of the Boston suburbs, crossing over the infamous Heartbreak Hill and barreling downhill toward the city’s historic Back Bay. There’s a military tie-in, too: it happens on Patriots’ Day, which commemorates the first battles of the Revolutionary War.
There always are a number of stories that go along with the race that really hit a nerve, and there often is a decent contingent of military runners participating, both stateside and in parallel races run in the war zones.
For one Marine participating in this year’s 114th Boston Marathon, the race — the wheelchair participants leave the starting line in Hopkinton a little after 9 a.m. Monday — means more. Maj. Gus Biggio is running in memory of his buddy, Marine Sgt. Bill Cahir, who died in August in Afghanistan after suffering a gunshot wound. Cahir’s story in its own right touches many. He gave up a promising career in the world of Washington journalism to serve his country, doing two tours of Iraq before going to Afghanistan.
Biggio says he’s raised $5,00 for the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund. As Biggio told the Boston Herald in a story that was published Saturday: “I think of Bill telling me that pain and discomfort are relatively temporary.”
Those interested in following the progress of Biggio or any other military runner can log onto the marathon’s website.