Vanessa T Marcotte Foundation - A Nonprofit Corp
When I heard the news about Vanessa Marcotte's attack and death while she was out for a run from her family's home in Princenton, MA I was sickened, angry, sad, and left crippled by how close to home this was. I never had the chance to meet Vanessa but since her passing I've learned so many amazing things about her from her family/friends and she was the type of individual we need more of in the world. A beautiful, motivated, happy, inspiring, caring, and genuine soul who would help anyone and wanted to leave her footprint on this world. The Vanessa T. Marcotte foundation envisions a world where women live free from objectification and harassment. The foundation strives to achieve this goal through advocacy and education on female safety awareness and gender equality.
When I found out I was chosen as one of the only 2 bibs her foundation received to run the 2018 Boston Marathon I just knew I was meant to be on this mission. Vanessa's cousin Caroline one of the co-founders of the VTM Foundation will be running the marathon with me as we represent their team. Vanessa had a lifelong dream to run the Boston Marathon someday and I feel so honored to run it in her memory and to bring awareness to the VTM Foundation. I will run and fundraise for this cause to help shut down that crippling feeling of fear, sadness, & anxiety many people now feel when heading out for a run since this tragedy happened. Running to me clears my head, it brings me happiness, strength, and shows me I have the ability to accomplish anything I put my mind to. It makes me a better wife, mother, daughter, and friend. Running empowers me, and has always left me with such an accomplished feeling and I know it did the same for Vanessa. After the tragedy of Vanessa's death I was terrified to go out for a run and what used to be my go to was not so much anymore. Her death consumed my mind every day for days, weeks, and months after the story broke-how could something like this happen to such a good person while out for a run on a beautiful summer afternoon? At first I thought this was just it for my running outside days. I have 3 small little boys at home that need their mom and coordinating group runs was hard with schedules and time. I usually get a chance to run and just head out the door and go alone. I was angry at the fact I may need to carry something to defend myself and that in today's world we need to now worry about doing something healthy and fun. I was angry at the fact I was running down the center of the road because I was too afraid to stand close to the side of the road in case someone was in the woods. I was angry that I no longer could enjoy the beautiful nature around me, or listen to my music because instead I had to worry about carefully listening to all my surroundings. I was so afraid and sad this was what running had become....
Unfortunately this wasn't the first time my love of running was crushed. In 2013 I was running the Boston Marathon for the 1st time and was under a mile from the finish line when the bombs went off. My family and friends were between the 2 bombs, but luckily we all walked away from it unharmed and together. This event also left the same type of feelings-HOW?!, WHY?!, FEAR, ANXIETY, SADNESS, and left me afraid to run again. I knew me and my family and friends were given a gift to keep going for those who weren't, and that I could not let fear win. I will not let fear win in this circumstance either. I will run for Vanessa and accomplish this goal she always had. Raising $10,000 and training for a marathon is hard, but it's not nearly as hard as what her family and friends have to face everyday. The only thing we can do now for Vanessa is fight on in her memory and bring awareness to safety for all. We live in a world where unfortunately there are monsters but we cannot let these type of people win. We must strive to be strong and continue to do what we love, but by being safer and more aware of our surroundings. Vanessa I promise to spread your name and the type of person you were to as many people as I can, and continue to inspire all runners out there to continue pounding the pavement out there safely as I know that’s what you would want. Please help me in raising funds for this amazing foundation that is all about living bodly and free from FEAR and to help honor Vanessa's memory-I will be forever grateful.