I am running the 2020 Boston Marathon in memory of my dad, Quang Hy Nguyen, who passed away on December 11, 2019. The day after we lost him, Myhoa, Vinh and I struggled to find a way to honor our remarkable father. What could we do to fill him with the pride and happiness he gave us? It was Vinh who came up with this idea and we immediately knew this was right. Covering the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boylston Street is something my dad was so proud to have done five times. As my coach and inspiration for distance running, it was his dream for me to run it.
Hours after the idea, we realized it could be impossible to secure a coveted bib so late in the year. But my best friend Afton miraculously produced a charity bib with the Lenny Zakim Fund. For the second time in a heartbreaking 48 hours, we knew something special was happening.
I worked with Lenny Zakim in the mid-1990’s when I was a new attorney in the Civil Rights Division at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. I prosecuted anti-Asian hate crimes. And I came to know Lenny as an unparalleled community advocate - tireless, visionary, and focused on fighting hate and making the world a better place. It was my my Dad who encouraged me to pursue a career in public interest law, raising me to care deeply about equity and fairness. And that's how I met Lenny.
So here we are full circle. And I have a lofty goal: to run Boston in my father’s footsteps and raise $13,500 for an organization that I believe we need now more than ever. Please consider making a donation, to support an important organization and to honor Quang's memory. Thank you!
More about our remarkable (and competitive!) Dad
If you want to learn more about our remarkable father, his Washington Post obituary is here. He was a passionate runner – he completed nearly 40 marathons, and was an elite master. He ran the Boston Marathon in 1988 (3:27:14), 1995 (3:49:00), 1996 (3:52:00), 1998 (3:51:48), 2000 (3:54:08). Someday I might be as fast as he was, but I am humbled to be running Boston 2020 as a charity runner, making a difference and honoring his memory.
More about the remarkable (and generous) Lenny Zakim and the Lenny Zakim Fund
Lenny was devoted to helping diverse communities and people find commonality. The Fund he created in 1995, shortly before his death, carries that legacy on for him. The Lenny Zakim Fund (LZF) provides the resources and support grassroots community organizations need to fight poverty and systemic racism in their neighborhoods. LZF awards grants to small non-profits that have limited ability to raise other funds for their necessary work. The Fund also provides logistical help small non-profits need: pro bono legal assistance, leadership counseling, and free seminars and conferences. The money I raise running Boston in April will support youth development, support for immigrants and refugees, violence prevention, and family outreach. In short, it will make a huge difference to thousands of people in Massachusetts.