Many of our Team JAF runners will return this year to finish what they started on the race route in 2013. However, for first time marathon runner and newly minted member of Team JAF, Erinn Fleming, last April’s events inspired her to start something new.
As Director of Events and Marketing at Forum, Erinn was onsite for our foundation’s marathon watch party last year, and witnessed first-hand the tragedy and bravery that rose up in bystanders and first responders alike. Their courage and strength—which inspires all of us daily at the Joe Andruzzi Foundation—also inspired Erinn to find her own strength and run her very first marathon in honor of all those who acted without hesitation.
Erinn’s drive and strength mirror the qualities we see in so many members of the Joe Andruzzi Foundation every day, and we feel lucky to add her to that family. Joe and I cannot wait to see her achieve her goals and finish what will hopefully be the first of many marathons she will run with Team JAF!
And, of course, she’ll be with us again – after she crosses the finish line – at this year’s Forum watch party, celebrating Team JAF’s collective achievements!
Click here to help Erinn meet her fundraising goal!
– Jen Andruzzi
MEET ERINN FLEMING
HOMETOWN: Charlemont, MA
OCCUPATION: Director of Events and Marketing at Forum
FUNDRAISING GOAL: $10,000
JAF: What inspired you to run for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation Marathon Team this year?
Erinn: I’m running to help finish what we started on April 15, 2013 at Forum. I am running for all of us who were inside looking out, who acted without hesitation to try to help however we could. I’m running because I cannot be inside Forum looking out again. I’m running because my chest tightens and my eyes tear up every time I think about that. I’m running because I listened to that voice inside my head that said you should, you will, you are, you can.
JAF: What’s your marathon fundraising goal? How do you plan on reaching that goal?
Erinn: My Fundraising goal is $10K. I am reaching out to friends, family, colleagues, business contacts-the people who were so supportive in the days and months after the bombings. I am beginning to plan a joint fundraiser with fellow JAF Teammate Peter Riddle, who has been a constant source of inspiration to me, especially on long run runs!
JAF: Have you ever run a marathon before? If so, which? When/how often?
Erinn: Never, ever.
JAF: How’s training going? What is your regimen?
Erinn: Now that we’re into it, training is a lot less scary, and going really well—of course, I say this before hill training. I’m following the Hal Hidgon Novice Program for 1st time marathon runners, and it seems to be working.
JAF: How do you motivate yourself to train when it’s freezing cold or snowing?
Erinn: I dress like an onion—lots of layers—and say to myself, “If I can run today, I can definitely run 26.2 balmy miles in April!”
JAF: What are you doing to fundraise?
Erinn: I’m getting the word out and telling everyone I can that I am running for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation! I’m reaching out to friends, family, colleagues and business contacts, and asking them to reach out their friends, family, colleagues and business contacts to ask them if they will help me change someone’s life today.
JAF: Do you do other charity work? How/why did you get involved?
Erinn: This is my first real experience with fundraising for a cause that I completely believe in. I was first introduced to JAF in 2013, and learned immediately that their mission—to provide support for people with cancer and their families—is a very special one. On April 15th, the happy plans we had made to make the JAF Run to Forum Marathon Team Watch Party and Fundraiser a beaming success were brought to an abrupt stop. That‘s why I’m running this year.
JAF: Anything else you’d like our supporters to know about you or your family?
Erinn: I’m running the Boston Marathon…this is the craziest, coolest thing I have ever done in my life! I thank my extremely patient husband and my very thoughtful family for their never-ending support, everyday!
JAF: Do you have any funny/touching/inspiring running stories from previous races or marathons?
Erinn: I know I will!
JAF: Do you have a “theme song” and – if so – why is it YOUR song?
Erinn: “EAT SLEEP RAVE REPEAT” by Fatboy Slim. My version is “EAT SLEEP RUN REPEAT”—this is how to train for a marathon!
JAF: What do you do to stay “upbeat” and motivated while training?
Erinn: I think about how happy I’ll feel on April 22nd.
JAF: What would surprise the inexperienced about marathon training?
Erinn: How supportive the marathon training family is—this does not feel like a solo effort!
JAF: Is “runner’s high” a myth… or real?
Erinn: It’s totally real, for me after the run. I wish I could bottle the feeling and sell it (although, I think someone has, it’s called Prozac).
JAF: What’s the best training meal or snack?
Erinn: Justin’s Maple Almond Butter—could not live without this!
TO READ OTHER TEAM JAF RUNNER PROFILES, VISIT: CLICK HERE