SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – On April 15, 2013, three people and more than 260 more were injured by the two Boston Marathon finish line bombings. The youngest to lose his life that day was eight year-old Richard Martin.
James Przypek had never met Martin Richard, but his story made Przypek turn a “bucket list” marathon run into a reality.
Now, Przypek, born and raised in Ware and a longtime employee of Springfield’s Basketball Hall of Fame, is running as the only one from western Massachusetts on the 100 member Team MR8; a team formed by the Richard family to raise money for the Martin Richard Charitable Foundation.
The Richard family’s long time friend, Larry Marchese, says they hope the foundation will inspire Martin’s message of peace.
“Martin Richard was recognized at his school as a peacemaker. That was a designation, it wasn’t something everyone got, it was just for the select few, and that’s who he was,” Marchese said.
With just 12 weeks to train, Przypek has faced some challenges, emotionally and physically, but makes sure to remember who he’s running for.
“Everybody who’s donated, Martin, his family, it’s, it’s very easy get over the hump and push yourself farther, the second you think about everybody who has supported you and what you’re running for,” Przypek said.
Przypek has well surpassed his fundraising pledge of $10,000.