CrossFit is a workout regime best known for its ultra-high intensity and relatively short duration. But a quintet of athletes from Hopkinton’s Resilience Fitness will take on a much longer fitness endeavor when they run the Boston Marathon this October.
The group includes Rebecca Paquette, Jamie Weeden, Katie Cox, Jaclyn Chirco and Jim Dunlap. They are looking to raise upward of $25,000 to benefit various local charities.
“When you’re running all these miles, it’s good to have something that is close to the heart,” said Paquette, a first-time marathoner who will be running for the Hopkinton Educational Foundation (gofundme.com/f/rebeccas-262-for-hopkinton-education-foundation), which provides grants to teachers to assist with innovative ways to help children learn.
“For me, it’s really meaningful to run for that,” Paquette said. “I have two girls in the school system, my husband is a teacher in the system, and it’s been great to see how teachers are constantly thinking outside the box.”
Cox, another first-timer, is a teacher and will be raising money for the Friends of the Hopkinton Public Library (gofundme.com/f/katelyns-boston-marathon-fundraiser).
“Everything I do revolves around teaching young kids, so I jumped at the opportunity to run for the library,” she said. “I love how they fundraise for the materials for all the fun extra learning activities that the library puts on and the free museum passes.”
Weeden is a veteran marathoner, with nearly a dozen races under her belt. This will be her third time running Boston. She will be lacing up her sneakers for the Hopkinton Women’s Club (gofundme.com/f/jamies-boston-marathon-run-for-the-womens-club), which has a mission to improve the community through volunteer and other philanthropic work.
“They are an organization that does a lot for Hopkinton,” said Weeden, who is a co-owner of Resilience Fitness. “Some of their members are members at the gym. I like being able to give back to members as well as give back to the community. They are under the radar, but they do amazing work, and that speaks a lot to me.”
As the most experienced marathoner in the group, Weeden said the thrill of running Boston as a Hopkinton resident is “more than you can even imagine.” She and her fellow gym members took part in a Yeti endurance event, a round-the-clock race, in April. Running the world’s most famous marathon is a much different experience, she said.
“When we did the Yeti, we ran in the middle of the night, no one was out there cheering,” Weeden said. “You compare that to Boston where there is not a stretch without someone cheering you on. That makes mile 16, 17, 18, 26 so much more exciting.”
Paquette and Cox said they are both looking forward to experiencing the crowds.
“The feeling of being a part of something as massive as the Boston Marathon, which is recognized on a global scale, it’s just awesome,” Paquette said.
“The training runs are getting longer, and sometimes it’s like, ‘Why am I doing this?’ ” Cox added. “But I think those crowds are going to be so amazing and it’s all going to be worth it in that moment.”
Marathons take multiple hours, even for the world’s best runners, whereas CrossFit workouts often are over in a matter of minutes. But the women said their training at the gym is applicable to running 26.2 miles.
“It’s the mental toughness,” Paquette said. “It’s having the perspective of something being seemingly impossible, whether it’s a 10-minute workout or a 26-mile run. It’s being able to put yourself in the mindset of finishing and getting through each moment.”
“Running is the same all the time, so taking care of yourself is really important,” Cox noted. “We need to be on top of our stretching and recovery every day.”
Weeden compared the marathon training to high-volume CrossFit workouts known as “chippers,” where the object is to “chip away” at the various exercises.
“When I am out on the marathon route, that’s how I see my roads, I chip away,” she said.
Weeden ran Boston in 2013 and was unable to finish due to the bombings that year. She said crossing the finish line the following year was emotional, but being a resident in the town where the race begins adds an extra element of excitement.
“Being Hopkinton residents, it all starts here,” she said. “I always try to pass by the start line on my training runs, who else gets to do that?”