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Hannah Janeczak is perhaps the greatest female athlete in the history of the Worcester Public Schools. She’s definitely the fastest, and it’s not even really close. The 2010 graduate of Doherty High School won the State Championship in the 100 meter dash as a freshman and never looked back. She was named the Telegram and Gazette’s Hometown Athlete of the Year in 2010. Since then she’s gone onto the University of Rhode Island, where she smashed every sprinting record possible, dominated the Atlantic 10 conference, and posted one of the fastest 100 meter times in the country.
Well college is over for Hannah and she’s back in the Woo and is looking to do the UNTHINKABLE for a sprinter – run the Boston Marathon. She’s never run that far before and thus the only way to qualify is to register to run for a charity. The charity she chose was The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, because her father Derek Janeczak, passed away in 2002, after suffering from Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Despite losing her Dad at the age of 10 it has not stopped Hannah from dominating life. But in order to be able to run participants must raise a total of $5,000, and they owe what they don’t raise. Turtleboy Nation should be able to put her over the top in no time. Here’s the link to the donation page.
Hannah was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions for Turtleboy….
TB: You’re a sprinter naturally, and sprinters are supposed to be allergic to distance running. Are you dreading training for this marathon or excited about it?
Honestly, a little bit of both. I started running in high school after my first fall crew season. My cousin Bryan Gregoire was the coach, and all my cousins were on the team. I wanted to stay in shape for crew in the spring, and my running career ended up taking off. I won districts as a freshman in the 55 meter dash, and I decided to stick with running (or Murph would’ve killed me.) After Doherty, I got a full scholarship to the University of Rhode Island, and for the past 8 years the farthest I’ve ever ran was a 400 meter dash. I broke many school records and as a team we won New England’s 3 consecutive years. I thought that I was going to be happy with how my running career ended, but I found myself missing it. My family, friends, and teammates all made fun of me because although I have been running for 8 years, I did not seem like much of a “runner.” I decided that I wanted to challenge myself greatly and apply to run The Boston Marathon through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, never thinking that they would pick me to run for them. I am beyond excited to run this amazing event, growing up in Worcester I have always been a “Boston girl,” and it has always been a dream of mine, especially through this particular charity. But I am also incredibly nervous to run 26 miles. I have faith that my family, friends and my dad will get me through it!
2. Do you have a training schedule picked out? If so, what does it look like? Does it have you running over 20 miles in a single run?
I’m using the Higdon Marathon training schedule. It has all of my trainings planned out up until race today, including rest days, cardio days, long runs, short runs, etc.. The LLS also has a training program and coaches to help with the process. I am scheduled to run the first 20 miles of the actual marathon on March 26th.
3. Are you training with anyone?
Mostly training by myself. I am planning on getting together with other members of the team when they have training days scheduled.
4. What’s the farthest you’ve ever run consecutively without stopping? Probably close to 5-6 miles.. Whoops
5. You’re a Special Ed teacher now. Where do you work now, how do you like your job, and what do you find most rewarding about it?
I have been working at The New England Center for Children for almost two years now. It is a school for children with autism. I work with girls ages 12-17, and I absolutely love it. I truly believe that this is one of the most rewarding jobs out there. Right now I am a case manager for a student on the residential team, and the best part is knowing how much of a difference you are making in that child’s life. The families truly appreciate everything you do, and I love making a positive impact for every person involved. This job requires you to work weekends, holidays, and odd hours, and after a long day at work and your student finally gets a skill you have been working on for months, it truly makes me so happy! I love helping others, and helping these children become independent and growing academically, socially, and behaviorally has always been a passion of mine.
6. Are you living in Worcester now? If so the roads around her really suck in the winter and it’s gonna be hard to train around that. You got a gym membership I hope?
Yes, I still live Worcester. I just purchased my first home, and now that I’ve started training I’ve really got the see how bad the roads are! I do have a gym membership, and also work out at Cross Fit.
7. What best describes how you feel about training for and running the Boston Marathon – nervous, scared, confident, or excited?
I think the best feeling to describe how I feel about running the marathon is lucky. I am not distance runner, and I do not have much experience. I wanted to run The Boston Marathon to honor my father who passed in 2002, and I was not very hopeful they were going to choose me to run for them. When I got the call I instantly started crying. I just can not wait to experience this day with my family and friends.
8. What do you remember most about your father? Do you think the marathon is going to be an emotional day for you?
The thing I remember the most about my father would be his smile. It was always so bright and contagious. He always made me laugh, and I miss him very much. He passed away when I was 10, and his death has gotten harder and harder the older I get. I just recently reconnected with his side of the family, and I think that this day is going to be very emotional and hard for me. I believe that I have been lucky throughout my life, and I know that I have him to thank for that. I really just wanted to do something that will make him proud, and I think by running this Marathon I will do that.
Just an awesome, awesome story. Here’s the link to the fundraising page for Hannah again. Running the Boston Marathon sucks. It might look fun on TV, but those last 5-6 miles are awful. Turtleboy can’t help but tip his hat to anyone brave enough to conquer the hills of Newton make their way down to Boylston Street. We’ll be following Hannah on April 18 and we wish her nothing but the best.
We urge you to support the Turtleboy Sponsors by doing business with them. Without them none of this is possible. Click on any of them to check out their sites or Facebook pages.
Want to have your business advert seen by over 1.2 million people per month? Email us at Turtleboysports@gmail.com for more information, and check out our website about types of advertising we offer.