Running 50 for 50
Photography by Deborah McCarthy
Imagine running for an entire work day. For the full eight hours, you just run. Sounds crazy, right? Well, Rick Coyne is doing just that. On Saturday, March 7th he will run from the Cape Cod Canal to Fish Bones at Marina Bay in Quincy – 50 miles in one day. The reason he’s running is two-part. One, he’s turning 50 on March 4th, the other is to honor the memory of his mother Barbara “Barbie” Coyne. He’s running to raise funds for two of his mother’s favorite charities – St. Jude’s and South Boston Special Kids and Young Adults. “I wanted to do something positive for my mother. Things have been so negative surrounding my mother’s death that I wanted to do something really positive to remember her by,” says Rick.
On April 16th, 2012 – Marathon Monday – Barbara Coyne, 67, was found stabbed to death in her home on East Seventh Street. It was home invasion and robbery that went terribly wrong. Rick who normally runs the Boston Marathon every year, didn’t run that day because of the unusually warm temperatures. “My mom was my biggest fan when it came to me running but she didn’t want me to run because it was too hot. She didn’t think it was healthy. So I didn’t. I’ve been running the Boston Marathon for the past 20 years and that was the only one I didn’t run,” says Rick. Rick discovered his mother’s body that day.
He’s setting off on a challenge to push his body and his endurance to the test in memory of his mother. 50 miles in one day. No big deal for Rick. He’s run over 50 marathons all over the world. He’s completed seven Iron Man Triathlons in countries including Brazil, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Australia. So to run 50 miles in one day is a goal he’s determined to achieve. One of the biggest obstacles he’s faced is training in all the relentless snow. “It’s been tough! The running conditions are not ideal so it’s been a challenge.” He swaps his training schedule between hard weeks and easy weeks. Easy weeks are made up of 60-70 miles while the difficult training week he averages 120-130 miles. Most of his training lately has been done along the Cape Cod Canal. “It’s all plowed and it’s pretty safe conditions to train.” Earlier in his training he would run through the Blue Hills or run from Quincy to Southie. The giant mounds of snow and icy roads have not impeded his training. “The snow makes the training difficult but I’m not going to let it stop me from running.”
Running long distances has been therapeutic for Rick. The hard work pushed him through painful memories one mile at a time. “It’s been almost three years since she died and I don’t want people to forget my mom,” says Rick. After he completes the 50 miles on March 7th at 4pm, friends and family will meet him at Fish Bones at Marina Bay to celebrate this huge milestone. “I’m blown away by how much support I’m getting. It’s really humbling.”
Scoop on Rick:
- Born and raised in Southie
- Now lives in Quincy with his German Short-haired Pointer named Coco
- Works as a lobsterman
- His fishing boat’s name is the Erin Sinead – named after his two nieces
- He also owns a Blackfin boat named Blue Jacket
- Member of the Columbia Yacht Club
- He also works nights for Boston Water and Sewer
- Just returned from a fishing trip in the Florida Keys with friends. “A little trip to relax before my run.”
- Once made it to the nightly news because his boat sunk during a shark tournament in Martha’s Vineyard.
When asked if he is going to slow down after the 50 for 50 run, he smiles and says, “No, I’m running the Marathon on April 20th.” There’s no slowing down in sight for Rick. He’s moving forward one step at a time, taking life in stride.
If you would like to show your support for Rick you can make a donation at http://www.gofundme.com/izb4mg
You can also send checks directly to the Mt. Washington Bank, 708 East Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127 Checks can be made out to Rick’s 50 for 50.