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“When I met Rick Besson, he told me, ‘My dream is to run the Boston Marathon.’
I said, ‘Let me help your dream come true,’” said Dawn Oates founder of The Play Brigade.
Soon after, in October, Besson completed The Play Brigade’s 5k benefit race, and now he is training for the marathon with the help of the Marathon Coalition.
He trains on a strictly regimented schedule with the help of volunteer guides who direct him on his runs. He is attached to a tether with a guide beside him to help navigate crosswalks and potholes.
As he gradually increases the pace and length of his runs, the training program will bring him closer and closer to a marathon level of fitness.
That milestone will represent the culmination of a long personal journey for Besson, who struggled with obesity for much of his life.
Overweight as a teenager, he continued to gain weight after moving to Boston in 1985. Hampered by depression and lacking purpose or motivation, he watched his weight rise to as high as 500 pounds before the recognition of health risks drove him to change his lifestyle and switch to a plant-based diet.
Now, he’s down to 180 pounds and determined to fulfill a dream that once appeared out of reach. The remarkable physical transformation coincided with a mental one, he said.
“The difference is now I have a discipline. If I say I can do something, I have a strategy already. Because if you don’t try, you don’t know if you can,” he said.(12/26/2018) ⚡AMP