Team: Captain of Lincoln Strong! (Originally Friends of Brian Robinson.
How long have you participated in Rock ‘N Race? I have participated in the Rock ‘N Race since its inception in May 2003. I was on the planning committee and went to weekly morning meetings with Peter Ellinwood, Steve Duprey and Claudia Walker, when all anyone knew was we wanted to raise money to finish the Payson Center and assist families who needed our help.
What or who was your inspiration to join? My dear friend, Brian Robinson, had just passed away from pancreatic cancer on Christmas Eve, 2002. I heard through the grapevine that Concord Hospital was putting the finishing touches on the Payson Center for Cancer Care and doing a run/walk fundraiser. I knew I had to organize a team of Brian’s co-workers, family members and friends so that we could all honor his memory. He was an avid and beautiful runner, frequently seen in Bow and Dunbarton on his noontime lunch hour run. Brian compartmentalized his life between family, work and his running. He was took impeccable care of himself, the last person you’d expect to get sick and die at the young age of 40. We started this quest in Brian’s memory and unfortunately, kept adding more names to the list of lost friends. In November 2014, another dear friend, Mitch BonGiorno, also passed away from pancreatic cancer. Mitch also left behind his loving wife and children. There wasn’t enough room on the back of the customized team T-shirt for Brian’s name and Mitch’s name and Judy and Paula and Joanna and recently Darlene and Tom and Marc, and all the others, so I had to change the name to something that represents us all and our connection, so we became Lincoln Strong!
Share your story or your favorite memory from past races: I have memories from each year that we’ve had the Rock ‘N Race. My good friend, Jim Staples, is our team photographer, so I have team photos from every year from under the big tree across the street from St. Paul’s Church. Some years there were 30 or 40 hearty souls in the pouring rain and others there were over 100 team members enjoying a beautiful spring night in New England. It’s wonderful reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, all with a common purpose.
Team: Captain of Booty Kickin Bill
How long have you participated in Rock ‘N Race? This is my third year being the captain of my team. And my fourth year participating in the Rock ‘N Race.
What or who was your inspiration to join? About four years ago my father was diagnosed with colon cancer and he received his treatment through the Payson Center. When I went there the nurses and doctors were amazing, and they made the best out of a bad situation. So I wanted to help. I originally started my team for my senior project. All of my friends and family either joined my team or donated money in honor of my dad. Since we had such good results, I continued the team every year!
Team: Captain of Gayle’s “Heaven’s to Betsy on Toast!”
How long have you participated in Rock ‘N Race? This will be my third year as captain for Gayle’s “Heaven’s to Betsy on Toast!”
What or who was your inspiration to join? My best and dearest friend Gayle Braley. Gayle passed away from colorectal cancer in August 2014 at the young age of 48.
What do you look forward to each year? I really love seeing everyone come together to share their love for that special person in their life who has been touched by cancer. Many people who join my team didn’t know Gayle personally, but they know someone who has been touched by cancer.
Team: Captain of The Tierney’s Devotion in Motion
How long have you participated in Rock ‘N Race? I have participated in Rock ‘N Race for it’s entirety!
What or who was your inspiration to join? To raise money for those who could not otherwise afford treatment or care. My brother-in-law, Steven J. Tierney (also ran with the EI team that first year), was employed by Concord Litho, developed Leukemia and ultimately lost his battle. Steve was one of the nicest, hard-working, fun-loving people you could ever meet. He was always there to lend a hand when needed, he loved the outdoors, was an avid sportsman and generally healthy person . . . until the Leukemia. We started this team to keep that devotion to help people live. Then my sister Tracey Tierney (my co-captain) lost her battle to breast cancer almost two years ago. Tracey, although quiet, was also very generous, owned her own business and liked to help people in small but subtle ways. Tracey was the type that would help but would also show you how to help yourself . . . you know the old saying, “Give a man a fish he’ll eat for a day, but teach a man to fish he’ll eat for a lifetime.”