Wellesley Field Hockey Player to Run Fourth Boston Marathon
Wellesley's Arielle Mitropoulos '19 talks to the Daily Shot about her fourth Boston Marathon and the support she feels from the entire Wellesley community as she enters the Scream Tunnel.
Q: It’s your fourth year running the Boston Marathon through the American Liver Foundation. Who inspired you to run?
Mitropoulos: In March 2013, when I was a sophomore [at the Winsor School in Boston], my French teacher, Mimi Minkoff, was diagnosed with liver cancer. I was very close to Ms. Minkoff. I used to spend hours in her office because she understood me and helped guide me. Eventually, [she went] to hospice care; I knew something was up because our emails had started to dwindle. Ten days later, I got word that she had passed, and it was devastating. I still have all of the emails and they have become important keepsakes.
Q: You were the youngest participant in the field your first year. How did you get your race bib?
Mitropoulos: I had talked about running the marathon with Ms. Minkoff, but I was 17 at the time and you have to be at least 18 to run. The fall of my senior year, I spoke to my high school English teacher, who had run with the American Liver Foundation three times, and thought, wow, this would be the perfect way to raise money to honor Ms. Minkoff. I applied and really wasn’t sure that they would take me, but my English teacher pushed for me, and they did.
Q: Did you ever have a fear about the event itself?
Mitropoulos: I was terrified…it’s not as scary now because I’ve done it before. I had never run more than five miles before my first marathon. Really it was the thought of not being able to finish that was terrifying to me. There were so many people that were excited for me, and I didn’t want to let them down.
Q: What was it like to pass by Wellesley that first year, before you were even a student here?
Mitropoulos: I had actually just met with the Wellesley field hockey coach, Julia King, the week before and had lunch with the field hockey team, so when I ran past I saw Courtney Peterson ’17 [a former teammate] and I stopped to take a picture. I wasn’t officially a Wellesley student yet, but I wanted to be part of the environment.
Q: So the next year, and each year since, everyone has waited for you?
Mitropoulos: It’s the best feeling! I remember the following year Lucy Hurlock ’17 [a former teammate] grabbed me and gave me a big hug. There were so many people waiting, and they were all surrounding me. It was just the most incredible feeling of support to have all of the people in the Wellesley community around me. I think I stopped to take pictures for 15 minutes!
As amazing as running the marathon is, it is also really difficult. For me, it’s really all about keeping Ms. Minkoff’s memory alive and carrying her with me each year. I never envisioned this being more than a one-year thing, but after the first year, I wanted to keep going.
Be a part the tradition and join us in celebrating another Marathon Monday at Wellesley through the Marathon Monday Giving Challenge. Can we count you in?