Boston 2 Big Sur, a dream realized

Last month’s Boston 2 Big Sur challenge was the culmination of over a decade of training, running and fundraising for cancer research. The races were everything I had hoped they would be and it truly felt like the exclamation point on this period of my life. The weather was nearly perfect for each day, my body held up great and the travel in between(with a 10 month old Cooper) went very smooth. I’m grateful for the support of my wife, brother and family to be able to plan and accomplish this feat. I never could have done this without the generosity of my donors.

I’ve tried to “stop running” the Boston Marathon a few times now but first my Dad’s passing, the 2013 bombings, meeting my future wife and finally a pandemic kept pushing me back towards that Patriot’s Day Starting Line. At this point it’s become a tradition and certainly not the easiest thing for me to walk away from. Finally, I am at peace knowing that I will not run in 2023. I look forward to returning to the course each fall with Team Kroot as we begin to approach $700,000 raised since we first set out on this mission.

While I’ve never had the disease, I’ve always grappled with the thought and statement that Cancer took a significant toll on my life. I’m not comfortable using the word “survivor” because I believe that can only be reserved to those who have had a personal diagnosis. Cancer did define a good part of my 20s first taking my Mom from my brother, sister and I back in 2008. My experience as a caregiver for my Dad consisted of spending over 100 days in a hospital over a 6 month period and that really did shape my perspective and who I am today.

As I stated earlier, I will not run in 2023 and I hope that continues for many more years but the cruel nature of this disease is that it remains relentless and continues to evolve. Running was my means to grieve, to grow and in many ways, to “fight back” against what was out of my control. The plan is to be a Marathon Monday spectator going forward but I will always reserve and exercise the need to lace up if it’s time to fight again. Until then, I will be directing my energy towards finding new means and vehicles to raise funds and furthering my experience in the charity space. While I may have crossed both the Boston and Big Sur finish lines, we have a long way to go until we reach a world free of cancer.

Thank you for your endless support and love throughout this chapter of my life – please enjoy a few pictures from the B2B challenge!


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10 Bostons

In October I completed my 10th Boston Marathon and achieved the $100,000 Lifetime Achievement fundraising level for the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge.  Quite simply, I wouldn’t have run this race this many times or reached this level without the support of my family and friends.

Over the years, I have sent notes, photo cards, magnets and other things to try and show my appreciation for each and every donation.  This year I felt that I should share the true impact this race has had on my life, in my own words.

“10 Bostons” – A Video to share my gratitude

As a “Family” – Team Kroot, Danielle and my DMFC fundraising is approaching the $650,000 mark and while I may not lace up every Marathon Monday in the future – we have many plans to keep raising these necessary funds for this cause.

Thank you doesn’t begin to describe my appreciation for everyone on this list and your support each and every year.

We accomplished an incredible goal together!

Love, Jason

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April 20, 2020 – The original date of Boston #124

My Marathon singlet has become a bit of a sacred clothing item. I hang it to motivate me throughout the long winter training season and then I wear it once and only once. It didn’t feel appropriate to take out my 2020 singlet yet so I will be breaking tradition and wearing this a second time.

I run in memory of some very special people and in support of so many who continue to persevere against this terrible disease.

As always, I’ll have BK’s laces around my neck and will be wearing the same hat I’ve worn for every Boston Marathon with Mom’s name.

Thank you for your support raising necessary funds for Dana Farber.

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2019 Jersey and the reasons I keep running

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Boston 2016, my worst Boston

Approaching my 5th Boston marathon (and 7th overall), I was physically in the best shape I had ever been.   I had reached a fitness level that I hadn’t seen since high school, I had a great training season which was injury free and I had achieved a low race weight despite a heavy travel schedule.

My training runs were regularly now in the 7:10 – 7:20 pace which was a good 40 seconds ahead of my previous best Boston (2015 result – 3:28:08 – 7:57 pace).  To top it off, 5 weeks before Marathon Monday, I had my best race to date.  I placed 21st overall (3rd in age group) at the Savin Rock half marathon in CT with a time of 1:30:32 (6:54 pace).  Not only that, I ran the race RIGHT with a 1st half split of 46:46 and a second half, negative split of 43:51.   A week later, I ran my 21 miler at 7:25 pace and I rested in the subsequent taper period.   Everything was aligned for me to note only crush my PR but to put me in the ballpark of a BQ (3:05 for my age group).  I wasn’t expecting a BQ but kept it in the back of my head if there was a nice tailwind and some low temps.  Pre-race I was hoping to fall around a 3:10.

The idea of qualifying for the race first entered my mind after my 2013 race.  This was my second marathon and I beat my first year by nearly 45 minutes.   I will always proudly run this race with the Dana Farber name on my chest but there’s been the strong desire to “earn my bib”, even if it happens just once.

In 2016, that didn’t happen.  I didn’t BQ, I missed my PR by over 15 minutes and it was the worst race I have ever run. I blindly went out hard, despite hearing reports that the temp had spiken beyond the forecast and was approaching high 60s.  I remember being in the starting corral, eyes closed and the sweat dripping down my neck before I had started running.  I didn’t listen to my coach Jack or adjust my plan.  I went out hard and one of the most challenging marathon courses there is chewed me up and spit me out.

Around Mile 5 I remember beginning to feel light headed so I backed it down.  I had gone out at about a 7:15 pace.  I slowed a little but could feel the heat crushing me.  Somewhere around Mile 9 or 10, I reach the top of a small hill and started to throw up.  I swallowed it at first but pulled to the right side and couldn’t keep it down.  I quickly got back to running, trying to shake it off and looking forward to the next water stop shortly ahead.  From there, it’s mostly a blur – I remember bits and pieces of the course but the pictures I have seen look pretty rough.  I remember passing Mile 17 near Newton Wellesley hospital and trying to eat as many GUs and any food spectators were handing out.  I remember being part of the way through the hills, doing some sort of a jog/walk while I struggled to keep going, knowing that my patient partner and friends were waiting at Mile 25.   After Cleveland circle, I started to feel better but remember my legs being absolutely shot as I really “came to” and realized the opportunity I had squandered.   Right before Kenmore Square I put a smile on my face and thanked those who came out to support me but my last mile was filled with self anger after knowing how poor of a race I had run.  Boylston street was not the memorable and enjoyable experience it had been my previous 4 years.

For the last year, I really put the whole race in the back of my head.  I put my focus on my work and didn’t dwell on that Marathon Monday or the mistakes I made.  I also had promised myself that my training for 2017 wouldn’t completely take over and that I would allow myself to ski, travel and not buckle down nearly as much as I had in the past.

Going into this year, I again am injury free but I am not close to the fitness level I was at 12 months ago.   That said, I have experienced how to waste a perfectly good training season by not RUNNING SMART.  Tomorrow’s forecast is starting to shape up to be the same.  Temps which were projected in the 50s a few days ago are now mid to high 60s with some mention to being up at 70.  I look forward to having another shot at the course this year and the opportunity to erase last year’s result.

Like one year ago, 3:28:08 is still my time to beat and I once again have the opportunity to run my first Boston with a negative split.

Despite this year’s result, I will be proudly representing the marathon’s top charity and a cause that is dear to my heart.  I take honor in wearing my parents names on my back each race I run and also the names of some incredible people who have lost their battle or who have fought this terrible disease and persevered as survivors.  Regardless of the numbers on the clock when I cross the finish line in Copley, I know we will have made strides towards the ultimate finish line: A World Free of Cancer.

Happy Marathon Monday and thank you to everyone who continue to support my fundraising efforts for Dana Farber.

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Team Kroot’s newest walker, will be rolling!

As we approach September 25th and Team Kroot’s 9th Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, we are excited to announce that we will have a new member of our team joining us this year.

To celebrate our 9th year, our oldest teammate on the pavement next Sunday will be wise beyond his years after celebrating his 90th birthday over the summer.  In addition to many family and friends, our newest walker has lost his daughter and son-in-law to cancer while his wife also fought the disease.  He has looked on since Team Kroot’s inception and always asked about the event and been impressed with it’s success.  At 90 years old, he’s still as sharp as a whistle but a career in the moving business (and many surgeries as a result of that work) would prevent him from being able to walk a longer distance on the course with us.

We are proud to announce, that Earle Noyes will be joining Team Kroot on September 25th!


Earl will be pushed by his grandsons, Travis and Jason and will participate in the half-marathon route beginning in Wellesley, MA and ending in Copley Plaza.  Earle’s push wheelchair is being lent to us by a member of Team Hoyt New England who is also a 3-time walker and loyal JF walk participant.

Support Earl Noyes’ Walk –

Why Team Kroot walks and runs:

Team Kroot official blog:

Founded in 2008, Team Kroot has walked each September’s Jimmy Fund Walk.  The walk was started in memory of Debbie Kroot and grew significantly once Brian was diagnosed with leukemia.  The team is consistently one of the largest in walkers (over 100 in multiple years) and often is in the top 10 for fundraising.  Since 2008, they have raised over $316,000 for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
*(From 2008-2011, we were known as Team Deb)


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Team with a plan….

The 2016 campaign for signups and donations is off to a slow start as we approach our 9th walk which is largely (or entirely) in part to Coach not plastering the social medias and email of our walkers.  Soooo…..we are going to do Kickoff event.

If you haven’t seen the email or checked the book, here are the details….

8.8.16 – 10:30 AM – WE LAUNCH!   Keep your eye on facebook, we may just be crazy enough to GO LIVE.

The goal – 50 walkers to be signed up by end of day Monday.
75 walkers by weeks end
100 by the end of August.

Are you with us for year number 9?  We appreciate your support over the years and look forward to making a huge push next week to be one of the Jimmy Fund Walk’s top teams once again!



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Pre-Boston 2016 Report

As I head to the starting line today, I do so more prepared to run this race then I have ever been. While finishing 4 Bostons and 2 other marathons certainly have helped… it’s been a different focus, a lofty goal and the correct preparation that has gotten me to this stage.

As I stumbled through the finishing area after the 2013 Boston marathon, in a time of 3:32 (a 43 minute PR), I can remember thinking about how likely it would be to try and run a qualifying time. Less then a half hour later, the blasts on Boylston street quickly changed my state of mind. My own thoughts, along with everyone in the city, went to the victims of those bombings. In 2014, I fought off injuries while training for the marathon but each of us out there knew that the race wasn’t about our finishing time, it was about the City of Boston. 2015 brought me a new PR at 3:28 but the rain and headwind hampered all runners out there and made it a tough day for each person to run their best Boston.

The BAA qualifying time for Men ages 18-34 is a 3:05, (7:03 per mile). This is the time I have thought of each run this last year and the goal I have had set for many years now. It’s exciting to know that I am close but all my recent race results really show that while I am close, I’m still not quite there. There was a time a few months ago where I thought I was close but after endless pleading with my coach, who won the Boston Marathon 40 years ago, this is going to be a bit of a stretch for 2016.

In all honesty, my finishing time goal is unclear and will be a game time decision. Last month, I ran what I believe to be was my first “smart” race and I achieved a great PR of 1:30:37. It felt great to know that I had planned and executed a great race, like a “real runner”. When I finished the race, I didn’t have much left in the tank and there was a period of time where I put the 3:05 out of my head. Since then, I’ve rested and I’ve thought endlessly about race day. Weather forecasts started quite unfavorable one week out but the expected temperatures have continued to drop. If the headwind can cease for a few hours, this marathon could certainly be one of the more optimal ones in recent history.

With the weather in line, I keep letting my mind wander to going for it. Going out at 7 min pace would be risky and well, in many ways a little reckless. Boston is a unforgiving course that takes every opportunity to punish those who came out too fast, too hard and aren’t smart in the early stages.

That said, while I have drawn up many game plans and approaches to the run…. there is nothing I am set on. I’ll take a pulse on my body after 5 miles or maybe after 10 and take things one step at a time. Tomorrow should be a PR. I feel 3:20 is an easy mark for me to break and would be happy beating 3:15. The idea of being sub-3:10 is even more appetizing. Then there is that 3:05. The number and time that I’ve fixated on for years now. The BQ. I don’t think it’s happening this year but with six marathons under my belt, it just may be time to take a leap and throw caution to the wind.

Either way, I’ll be proudly wearing the DFMC singlet, honoring my parents and krooting for a cure.

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February down

February is down and we are inside the 50 day mark until Boston.  The weather has cooperated in astonishing fashion and really just gets all of us runners about the payback we could be seeing on April 18th.  Fingers crossed, it won’t be like last year, or even worse, my 90 degree Boston debut.
While I have been running for Dana Farber for 5 years, my travel schedule has never allowed me to attend a track workout, until this month.  Truthfully, I don’t believe I have run on a track since I completed a beer mile back in college.  While the track session was tough, it was much better then downing a latte every 1/4 mile.  It’s helped me understand how to really work at pushing the pace when doing intervals, etc on my own.
Briefly, I took my training international and was able to get 4 runs in down in Mexico.  The 18 miler I completed in 80 degree heat will likely go down as most miserable as a year.  It really didn’t help that the landscaping guys tossed out the water bottles and GUs that I had strategically planted along my route for hydration.  I had to hop into a gas station and rolled the dice on some Mexican gummy bears with a few pesos I had brought along me.  They actually worked out pretty good for nutrition in a pinch!
By the numbers:
Miles: 98.5   (64.8 in 2015)
Longest run: 18 miles (once in the US and once in Mexico!)
States run in YTD(12): CA, NC, ME, OH, MA, CT, VT, MI, NY, CO, NH and Mexico.
(written March 1st)
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Wait…Kroot is doing what?

Yes.  It’s true.  I’m proud to share that I was selected and invited to be a lululemon marathon maven for the Boston Prudential center store.  More details to come about when, where, why and how but for now….here’s a look at yesterday’s photoshoot.
Maven shoot pic

Only 49 days until Boston.

#lululemon #BOSvictorylap

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