Stories And Inspiration

GO FAR Coach’s Boston Marathon Experience Inspires

Submitted by Anonymous on Apr 20th 2016 - 1:00AM. | Perma Link


Coach Pulliam trains with GO FAR students for the spring 2016 Triad event.

When GO FAR coach Elizabeth Pulliam set out for the Boston Marathon last year, it was her journey. She didn’t expect the outpouring of support she got from her school.

The fourth-grade Brooks Global Studies language arts teacher has been a runner for about ten years and one of the school’s GO FAR coaches for four. “When you do a race, you do it for yourself,” she said. “You don’t expect anyone else to get anything from it.”

But this time was different.

She shared her training and progress with her students, who went home and talked about it with their parents.

The Friday before she left for Boston, students wore sneakers to school. A banner with their signatures and “Pulling 4 Pulliam” hung in the hall. Her class wrote notes for her to read on the plane. 

“Over the weekend before the race, the school challenged parents to collectively run 26.2 miles and post their mileage using the pulling4pulliam hashtag,” said parent Melynda Kane. 

Pulliam’s class followed her marathon progress with live tracking, and faculty received text alerts when she hit certain milestones.

“It wasn’t my intent,” Pulliam said of the hype. “It wasn’t what I was expecting.”

But she thinks her experience put things in perspective for some students. Her challenge at the marathon was considerably longer than theirs. “The kids learned what they could complain about at practice,” she said.

Pulliam said her Boston Marathon participation possibly helped increase GO FAR interest at Brooks. Kane’s daughter, Molly, joined the club this year and is one of Pulliam’s pacers.

“I do think that Ms. Pulliam especially inspired many of the girls at the school to become strong runners,” Kane said.

Regardless of why the kids sign up for GO FAR, Pulliam enjoys being part of the experience. Though already a runner when she arrived at Brooks, Pulliam said she was hooked on GO FAR from day one, seeing the kids get out there and doing something she’s passionate about.

“It’s always so amazing to see which kids sign up for it,” Pulliam said. “You have the kids that you wouldn’t expect. They have some reason for being out there. It’s neat to see them to learn and grow…to see them cross that finish line.”

Pulliam finished the Boston Marathon in 3:15:02 with a 13-minute PR. She said the experience was “worth all the hype” and was the best race of her life. She hopes to do it again. Thanks to her, some GO FAR kids want to one day do it too.

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