Warwick resident Bill Hardman is set to run the Boston Athletic Association’s Half Marathon on Oct. 7th in Boston, Massachusetts.
Hardman, 63, will be running the race for charity toward the Jimmy Fund and the Dana-Farber Institute, to help raise funds for their work in pediatric healthcare and fight to cure cancer in children and adults.
Hardman will be running the race in honor of the late Hannah Wertens, who battled pediatric cancer three times before passing away from the disease at the age of 15. Wertens, a Portsmouth native, was recognized for her bravery throughout her battle, and was invited to sing God Bless America at Fenway Park in 2017.
“Hannah epitomized the tremendous bravery and resilience we see in children fighting this horrible disease,” said Hardman of Wertens.
Hardman ran his first half marathon back in 2001 in honor of his grandmother. The race was for the American Diabetes Association, and was held in Kona, Hawaii on portions of the Iron Man course. After taking a few years off from running, a friend of Hardman got him back into the sport in 2004 when he began running for the Jimmy Fund which had helped treat his sister in years prior.
Hardman has been running regularly since, and has raised $50,000 overall in charity races for the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber.
“It’s extraordinarily gratifying. Every time we read an article about children affected by cancer, it gets to you immediately. It touches everyone, it touches everyone’s heart. When you’re training it gives you that extra resolve to run that 13.1 miles and to raise as much money as you can,” said Hardman. “I’m amazed by the resilience and the courage of these children when I read these stories. People at Dana Farber and elsewhere … it’s unbelievable.”
Now less than two weeks away, Hardman is putting the finishing touches on his training and hopes to be at peak condition both physically and mentally entering the event.
“It’s not only physical, a lot of it is mental. I try to put my mind together with my physical training and what I feel inside and I try to put those pieces together. A lot of it is mental, physical training can only take you so far. At my age now it’s mental, I can’t run as well as I used to. I always joke with my friends and tell them that I race for the slow man’s trophy,” said Hardman, who is also more focused on fundraising and doing his best than winning. “But with these types of races, it’s not about competitive racing, it’s about finishing the race and raising as much money as you can.”