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Family provides inspiration for Trivedi’s Boston Marathon run

by | Apr 12, 2023 | Featured, Featured: Features

Darsh Trivedi

Darsh Trivedi was encouraged by his family — wife Hiranya, daughter Nia and son
Dwij — and inspired by loved ones who died from cancer to take on the Boston Marathon.

Darsh Trivedi was motivated to run in the Boston Marathon because of the unconventional inspiration methods used by his family to persuade him. He previously vowed never to run again after developing shin splints after running in a half-marathon in 2016.

“When my son was in day care, he told me his friend’s father was running in the Boston Marathon, and he showed me a picture of him in the newspaper,” said Trivedi, an employee of Dell EMC. “He said, ‘Why aren’t you running? Why aren’t you in the newspaper?’ I told him maybe someday I will — you never know.”

Now he is running as part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team to support a young cancer patient and in memory of his late father and grandfather, who died from cancer.

Money raised as part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge benefits Dana-Farber’s Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research.

When Trivedi and his family moved to Hopkinton from Dallas in April 2019, they had no idea that the Boston Marathon started there and was an integral part of the community’s identity.

“I was going to start my job on April 15, and my boss told me not to come into the office because Hopkinton would be closed,” Trivedi said. “I asked him why it would be closed, and he told me about the starting line for the Boston Marathon.”

Since then, each year he and his family have stood in front of their home in the Legacy Farms neighborhood, near the end of the race’s first kilometer, to cheer for the runners.

Darsh Trivedi

Darsh Trivedi is set to run his first Boston Marathon.

“There are people of all kinds running — all colors, genders, races and abilities,” he said. “It’s so much motivation to run that you almost cry.”

Last year, his wife, Hiranya, decided to plant a magnolia tree in front of their home.

“The significance of the magnolia tree is that it only blooms once a year in the early spring,” said Trivedi. “She told me that by the time it blooms, you will be running in the Boston Marathon.”

The impact of cancer has deeply affected Trivedi. His first run was to raise funds for his father and others battling the disease. He stressed that he never was an avid runner.

“Trust me, I had no idea what I was doing,” he said. “I was running in casual shoes.”

Trivedi made the commitment to run on the anniversary of his father’s death from prostate cancer in 2020.

“Because of COVID, I wasn’t able to see him or be there for the last rites,” he explained. “It’s kind of hurting. I lost my dad to cancer. I lost my grandfather to cancer. There are so many people around us who are getting impacted.”

Additional reasons for Trivedi’s run emerged as he began to train. A work colleague encouraged him to run for other cancer patients as well as his family. Colleagues of Trivedi and his wife recently were diagnosed with cancer.

“He told me that for them, it’s a marathon every day,” he explained. “Every day and every mile is different for them. They are going through so much in their personal lives. And it’s not just the patients; it’s their families and what they have to deal with.”

“You’re running to save someone’s life,” he added. “That’s what sticks with me.”

Trivedi has been building up his endurance, gradually progressing from duathlons to 5K and 10K races and half-marathons. But when he was accepted to the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team (his fundraising page is at danafarber.jimmyfund.org/site/TR?px=2365725&pg=personal&fr_id=1930&s), Trivedi became nervous.

“The more I researched it, the more I realized it is one of the toughest marathons in the country,” he explained. “I felt like, what did I get myself into? And Heartbreak Hill! I heard some of the stories about what happens to runners.”

Trivedi then joined the Patient Partners program. It pairs a runner raising funds for Boston Children’s Hospital with a current or former patient. Kota, an 11-year-old Foxborough resident who has been battling leukemia for the past three years, became Trivedi’s “source of energy.” Trivedi, his wife, and his children, Dwij and Nia, recently met Kota at a bowling alley to introduce themselves.

“When we first saw him, my wife and son said, ‘You’ve got to do it for him.’ They have put their faith in me, so I’ve got to go do it.”

Meeting Kota was an existential experience for everyone, Trivedi said.

“My son went up to Kota and said, ‘I’ve seen you in my dreams,’ ” Trivedi said. “And Kota said, ‘I’ve seen you and your mother, too!’ It was so powerful.”

Kota would use all of his strength to bowl, Trivedi said. After resting, he would bounce back, full of enthusiasm.

Said Trivedi: “As I watched him, I thought that if he can spend three years fighting for his life, I can run for six hours.”

Trivedi and Kota made a poster together that will be displayed at the pasta party the day before the race.

Trivedi said he trains in silence and solitude so that he can “connect with myself and the nature around me.”

“Oftentimes I cry running,” he said. “I think about the trees and how if they are standing tall, why can’t I?”

In addition to his family, his friends and neighbors also have been cheering him on, giving him high fives and shout-outs on his runs as he prepares for the challenge ahead. He hopes to finish in six hours.

“I can’t wait to run to see my wife and kids waiting for me at the finishing line,” Trivedi said. “It gives me goosebumps.”

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