Sometimes, a tragedy can lead to something very special. Just as it did with Chris Kabacinski.
Kabacinski vividly remembers last year’s Boston Marathon, and the attacks that stunned the country near the finish line of the 26.2-mile race.
The Duryea native has always been running. But now it means more.
Kabacinski will run in the 2014 Boston Marathon on April 21 for the Wellesley Education Foundation (WEF), a private organization located in Wellesley, MA. The WEF funds innovative and creative projects within their schools.
“Running means so much to me and my end goal is to just to give back,” he said. “This is honestly everything to me. For as much as it’s about me and my training, I know I can’t do all this without a cause. There needs to be an end objective.”
That objective is the WEF. Kabacinski has until mid-May to reach his $4,000 goal for the foundation. Currently, he is approaching the halfway point.
Kabincinski is a Boston College student studying English and Medical Humanities. He grew up in Duryea and attended Holy Rosary School, then Holy Redeemer.
While at HRS and Redeemer, Kabacinski was involved in both track and field and cross-country. He medaled at Districts in track in his senior year, and he ran at cross-country states.
During last year’s Boston Marathon, two pressure cooker bombs exploded, killing three people and injuring an estimated 264 others. The bombs exploded about 13 seconds and 210 yards from the marathon’s finish line.
That’s what got Kabacinski into running full marathons. His first marathon was just four months ago - the Steamtown Marathon in October.
“I had always been attracted to marathons,” he said. “The longer the distance, the more comfortable it was. After being up here for the tragedies, I was inspired to take that leap. After completing (Steamtown) I wanted to try to bring something else.”
Kabacinski applied to several charities before landing with WEF.
“I committed to $4,000 and I started to get my name out there,” he said. “Through Facebook and Twitter, I’ve been recruiting fundraisers back home and up at school. “
The marathon is just a few months away. The weather hasn’t been kind to Kabacinski or the rest of the Northeast, for that matter. Training has been difficult.
As far as nerves go for the April 21 race, Kabacinski said, “I’m feeling good now.”
Kabacinski is now focused on perfecting his training to be able to complete the race. That’s the most important thing, he said.
But when it’s all said and done, it’s about the donations.
“That gives me some kind of outlet and a greater good,” he said. “That’s all I can ask for. It’s not about me. It’s about raising awareness for this program. Education is one of the greatest uses we can give to our children. It matches up perfectly to all the things I hold so special to my life. At Holy Rosary Schoo,l I was taught that.