On Monday, Watertown’s Shane Garey will run his first Boston Marathon, and will do so to raise money for a youth center named for a friend of his who died from gun violence.
Garey grew up in Brighton, and said the Marathon has always been one of his favorite occasions.
“I’ve always wanted to run it, growing up in Boston. Where I grew up was a 5-10 minute walk to the Marathon route. A group of us would go down,” Garey said. “I can’t remember the last time I missed a Marathon.”
While he knows about training through his work as a personal trainer at Equinox in downtown Boston, Garey said he knew he would not be able to qualify for the race. He was able to get one of four bibs to run with the West End House Dawnn for Peace Team. The West End House is part of the Boys & Girls Club of Boston, and the team has a personal connection for Garey.
“The Marathon Team is called Dawnn for Peace,” Garey said. “Dawnn (Jaffier) is a girl I grew up with. We were not the best of friends but we were pretty close. She lost her life to gun violence some years back.”
Each year, the West End House hosts a big party and basketball tournament in her honor. The Marathon Team is raising money to help the organization which provides a variety of support to youth including programs in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), performing and visual arts, fitness and nutrition, college and career planning, and food security.
Garey moved to Watertown about 16 years ago, and he has become involved in the community. For the past eight years he has coached in the youth football program.
“In the spring I coach flag football. We have flag football league starting (soon),” he said. “We have programs for younger kids, first through fifth grade, and older kids in middle school — sixth, seventh and eighth grades.”
Garey has used what he learned as a trainer to help prepare for the 26.2 mile run. He became a trainer after his wife encouraged him to quit his job in research marketing to get certified as a trainer.
“It’s what I love to do. Honestly, the coaching and working with the youth athletes had me pursue personal training as a career,” Garey said. “It was something I was always good at and something I enjoyed and loved to do.”
Another part of being on the West End House Marathon Team is raising $9,500.
“The fundraising part, honestly, is more difficult than training,” Garey said. “For fundraising you are relying on everyone else’s kindness.”
Garey has until May 31 to raise the money. He has set up a fundraising page, that can be found here.