Faculty Member Kassie Fritz Runs Boston Marathon, Raises Nearly 20,000 Dollars

Kassy Fritz, center, has been training for the marathon with the Heartbreak Hill Running Club since January

Darting past the finish line, Kassy Fritz, Director of College Counseling, completed the Boston Marathon with a time of 4:26.00. The annual marathon, which is 26.2 miles long, starts in Hopkinton, Mass. and winds through suburbs before finishing in the city of Boston.

According to Fritz, she received encouragement and enthusiasm throughout the whole course from a large support-base, including fellow Andover college counselors Veronica Craven, Magdalena Farnsworth, and Taylor Ware.

Fritz said, “Ms. Craven was at mile seven with a sign, and it was just awesome. My family was all on the line right before Wellesley College…Then I went through Wellesley and then hit Heartbreak Hill, which is aptly named, and Miss Farnsworth and her two kids were there, which was really fun. They had a sign, and I got to high-five them…[and] when I got to the finish line Ms. Ware was there with Lucy Parker [daughter of Ted Parker, Abbot Cluster Dean] and her son Will [Ware]. So it felt like there were just so many people there supporting me along the way which was really fantastic.”

To participate in the marathon, runners must either have a qualifying time or apply to run as a part of a fundraising team. Fritz chose the latter, running on behalf of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She successfully surpassed her initial goal of raising $7,500 by more than double, finishing with a total of $19,275 raised.

Fritz said, “The reason I ran this year was I lost my mom this fall. She was a patient at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center…I was thinking what can I possibly do, so on a whim I just asked if I could be a part of the [marathon] team. I was accepted on the team, and I thought to myself, this is an incredible opportunity to give back.”

Fritz started training in early January, following a strict workout plan given to her by the Heartbreak Hill Running Club, which partners with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center marathon team.

Fritz said, “I did all of my long runs on a Saturday or Sunday. You have to build up, so I would do 5-8 miles during the week, and on the weekends my longest ride was a 20 mile. Right during Spring Break the group had us running from Hopkinton to Wellesley center, and that was the first half of the marathon.”

According to Ware and Crave, they enjoyed supporting Fritz because they knew of the hard work and intense training that Fritz had put in.

Ware said, “She was amazing; she looked so strong, and we got the best view of her coming into the finish; we were right in front of the [Prudential Center] as she was a couple hundred yards from the finish line, and she was just cranking. She looked so strong, and so well prepared, and I was just so proud of her because I know how hard she worked.”

Craven added, “We got a great picture of her looking amazing, and really energetic. It was really cool to see her run. It’s fun to cheer for just these unknown, random people who are doing this incredible thing, but to actually know somebody, and know how much work they put into it, and to just be so proud of them is really exciting.”

For Ware, who was present at the event when the bombing occurred in 2013, the Boston Marathon marks a time to come together and to celebrate the success, strength, and resilience of both runners and the community as a whole.

Ware said, “I was actually at the marathon the year of the bombing with my kids, so that was pretty scary, we could hear the bombs go off. I try to bring them back every year because I want them to know it as a fun and inspiring day that brings out the best in humanity, and a day that makes you proud to be from Boston. It’s always so inspiring…It is unbelievable, just a bunch of people of all ages, shapes, and sizes doing this and it just makes you feel like if they can do it, anyone can.”