Why I Run for Pine Street: Glen Harrington

veteran

This will be my third marathon; the first one I ran was in November in New York, and I just ran the Disney marathon in January.

How did you get into running?

I’ve always been an athletic guy. But at one point, I got really out of shape and I felt disappointed – so I signed up for a half marathon, and just started training. I fell in love with running from there. One thing I can’t stress enough is that the right shoes are everything!

Why is running for a charity important to you?

Growing up, I was a tough kid. My parents tried hard and tried a lot of things to support me, but eventually they couldn’t do it anymore so I couldn’t stay with them.

At 18, I found myself without anywhere to go – I was homeless. I ended up in detox in Somerville Hospital, and then stayed in shelter until I was able to get into a recovery program in Weymouth. I’m in recovery and have been sober for 10 years.

So, for me, running for a great organization like Pine Street is a personal mission.

Why did you choose to run the Boston Marathon for Pine Street?

My good friend, Elizabeth Anthonys (Ellie), volunteered at Pine Street and told me all about it. We’re fundraising together for this year’s marathon.

I ran for a charity when I did the New York marathon, and found that it was really motivating. To run for a purpose makes it a lot easier because even when you’re in pain, you know that you’re running to make a difference. It’s a great platform to raise awareness, and I’m glad that I can do that for Pine Street.

What is your favorite part about running?

I love the way I feel afterwards. I’ve always been a goal-oriented person; I see marathons and training as a challenge. I feel accomplished afterwards, which is a great feeling.

With your personal story, what is something you want people to know about homelessness?

My experience was drug-related, but that’s not the case for all homeless men and women out there – it shouldn’t be a stereotype. Homelessness can happen to anyone at any point for any reason.

When I was growing up, other parents didn’t want me hanging out with their kids. Now, people see me running for such a great cause and I am proud to be a symbol for change.

I was down and out, but now I’m helping others get back on their feet.

 

To donate to Glen and Elizabeth's fundraising efforts, you can make a gift online here.