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Needham Resident Runs #YStrong As part of the YMCA’s Boston Marathon Team

John and Erin Wright
John and Erin Wright
NEEDHAM, Mass. | Needham resident John Wright, 36, was supposed to be at the Boston Marathon finish line last year, as a spectator, watching his brother-in-law jog past the Boston Public Library on Boylston Street. 

But fate (and work) had a different plan for Wright that day. Instead, the Bain Capital managing director was sent to the New York offices to tend to some business. Although initially frustrated that he couldn’t be in the Hub to cheer on his family, he now feels fortunate for the last minute work change. 

Wright got the news via email that bombs had gone off along the route, and not 10 minutes later, he received the news that his brother-in-law and other family members who were onsite were safe. 

The avid runner, who maintains his fitness and works out regularly at the YMCA of Greater Boston’s Charles River branch, decided that if he ever needed the motivation to train, fundraise, and take on the challenge of running the Boston Marathon, this was the year. 

When the opportunity arose to run for the YMCA of Greater Boston and apply for a bib through the organization, thanks to the 2014 John Hancock Marathon Non-Profit Program, he jumped at the chance. 

“The opportunity was two-fold for me. It allows me the chance to accomplish my goal of running in the Boston Marathon while raising money for a cause and charity that I have been involved in for years,” says Wright. “My wife and kids consider the YMCA our weekend home.” Wright’s fundraising goal for the YMCA of Greater Boston is $10,000. 

Carter, 7, Mason, 5, Avery, 3, and wife Erica, 36, can often be found on or around the basketball court, or soccer and baseball fields through the Y’s team sports programs. Wright also plays on the YMCA’s adult men’s basketball league.  

“Turning last year’s tragedy into a triumphant moment for our city will be such a feel-good experience for me and all of the runners,” Wright says. “I am so proud to take part in this event while also raising funds for an organization with a rich history in Boston. They do a lot to help our communities and our kids.” 

All funds raised by Y Marathon team members will support the YMCA of Greater Boston’s teen programs. This past summer the YMCA of Greater Boston handed out more than 8,000 free three-month memberships to teens at our 13 branches with unlimited access. Most (almost all) teen programs that the YMCA offers are free and open to the community. Programs like Safe Dating and Cyber Bulling have also become staples at the Y, giving more than 1,000 teens the skills they need to make proper decisions.

“It’s just the beginning of my fundraising, but so far I am overwhelmed by how strong the support has been, and how generous the donors have been,” said Wright. Wright has been lacing up to train with the YMCA of Greater Boston’s marathon team since the New Year. You can support his run by visiting http://www.crowdrise.com/YMCAGB2014BostonMarathon/fundraiser/johnwright1. The 2014 Boston Marathon takes place Monday, April 21. 

“The YMCA of Greater Boston has been a longstanding fixture in the city, just like the Boston Marathon, so we are thrilled to be part of a historically positive day in the city,” says YMCA of Greater Boston CEO and President Kevin Washington. “As one of Boston’s leading social service agencies promoting healthy living and athletic achievement for more than 160 years, we are honored to stand YStrong with our city.” Learn more about the YMCA’s runners by visiting ymcaboston.org/ystrong. 

The YMCA of Greater Boston also has many volunteer opportunities leading up to and on the day of the marathon, including helping at the race day celebration, organizing Y fans out on the course, assisting with race day logistics and much more. For more information on how you can support the Y’s runners through volunteerism, email ymarathonteam@ymcaboston.org.

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