Home LOCAL PARIS Paris Firefighter prepares for New York City Marathon

Paris Firefighter prepares for New York City Marathon

by MyParisTexas
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What started as a simple way to build endurance and strength, has now turned into training to compete in the upcoming TCS New York City Marathon this November for Paris firefighter Adam Bolton.

“I have to give all the credit to Slade Baker,” Bolton said, “he was the one that came up with the initial idea to train for a half marathon that has just evolved into me now training to run a full marathon.”

When searching for that next goal to stride out for, Bolton said he originally had the Boston Marathon in mind; however, runners have to qualify to be able to enter and that was an important factor he didn’t have.

Next came the New York City Marathon, and on a whim, he took a gamble and signed up under a charity in hopes of making the cut to be able to run.

“Running for a charity not only provides you with guaranteed entry but it also gives you the opportunity to change lives and give back to your community,” said the New York City Marathon webpage.

In early April, Bolton applied to run with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society team. But it wasn’t until June that he got confirmation that he had made the team and was officially entered into the upcoming race.

“NYRR’s official Bronze level charity partners can provide you with an opportunity to transform lives in a direct and meaningful way. When you run the TCS New York City Marathon as part of an official NYRR charity team, you’ll receive guaranteed entry into the race as well as the opportunity to contribute to NYRR’s community mission,” explains the NYC Marathon website page.

One of the requirements to qualify for the charity team was to share how Multiple Sclerosis had possibly impacted Bolton’s life and that’s when he shared his grandfather’s story.

John Hargus suffered from the disease, so his grandson decided to run in his honor come Nov. 3, in New York City.

“I’ve signed up to bring together a community of passionate people to connect and raise funds to change the world for everyone affected by multiple sclerosis,” Bolton said, “I’m running in memory of my grandfather.”

With the easy part done, the 26-year-old Paris firefighter is now training every day as he prepares to take on the New York City Marathon.

The TCS New York City Marathon is a grueling 26.22 miles long (42.19 km), and its history is just as impressive as the thousands of stories that have come from the race since 1970.

“The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1 and the total event budget was $1,000.

In 1976, Lebow and 2,090 entrants took the New York City Marathon to the streets of the five boroughs in a moving celebration of sport and diversity. The course included five bridges, and winners Bill Rodgers and Miki Gorman shattered the event records.

Two years later, at the 1978 New York City Marathon, Grete Waitz of Norway, a track Olympian who’d never run farther than 12 miles, won the race in a world-record 2:32:30. Rodgers overcame 75-degree temperatures to become the race’s first three-time winner, and he added a fourth the next year when Waitz broke her own world record.

In 1980, NCAA track champion Alberto Salazar boldly predicted that he would run sub-2:10 in his first marathon. He made good on his promise by winning in 2:09:41, the fastest-ever debut by an American, while Waitz captured her third straight victory and set another world record. Salazar won again in both 1981 and 1982.

The 1992 race produced perhaps the most poignant moment in New York City Marathon history when Lebow, in remission from brain cancer, crossed the line in 5:32:34 with Waitz by his side,” as explained on the history tab on the race’s website.

History and connection coupled with the determination to reach a personal goal that will benefit others is only one short way, to sum up, Bolton’s drive to hit the pavement in this iconic U.S. city.

In order to ‘qualify’ with the honor to run this race as part of the National MS team, Bolton also has to fundraise for the society, “I want to bring Lamar County and North East Texas to New York and show them the south is represented.”

So far Bolton has raised around 20 percent of his goal and will be fundraising right up to the event. With a set goal to raise over $5,000, Bolton hopes that businesses will jump on to sponsor $200 per mile. A reminder that each mile he is running for someone.

“I hope that I can hit above my goal,” he said, “if I can do that, I will already consider myself a winner.”

ded·i·ca·tion, noun, defined by Merriam-Webster as; a devoting or setting aside for a particular purpose or self-sacrificing devotion and loyalty

Bolton has certainly embraced those two possible definitions of dedication; “Not only do I have my training buddy in Slade, but I also have the whole department behind me which is very humbling,” he said.

He further added that not only has he continued his training with Baker [who after their recent competition of the half-marathon in Oklahoma began training for a full-marathon];but Baker hasn’t faulted in his ‘coaching’ of Bolton to ensure he competes successfully this November.

“To think that Slade (Baker) began to do these training just to have better fitness, and me joining him to become a little fitter myself has turned into me competing,” Bolton said, “it’s a road I never thought I would travel down, but each day I continue to train a little harder.”

Since he got the official word that he would be a 2019 competitor in the upcoming TCS New York City Marathon, Bolton has been training every day.

“It doesn’t matter what shift I am on, or if it’s a day off. My work buddies have all rallied behind me and helped me train every day. Whether it be joining me for a run or talking to me about goals I have accomplished or those I need to work on-they keep me honest in my training and that is invaluable,” Bolton said.

“Inspiration comes in many forms, our department has an abundance of self-drive and for one firefighter to inspire another, to then inspire a department and community is a great example of what our firefighters stand for,” Paris Fire Department Chief Mike Vogel said.

Just like their brothers and sisters in blue, the firefighter family is just as tight and when it comes to supporting one of their own it is only natural for everyone to jump on board.

“I can’t thank Slade enough for wanting to just be a better healthier person, who inspired me to join him on his journey,” Bolton said.

Baker, a fellow Paris firefighter is not only proud of Bolton’s achievements that he has had already hit but said he will be cheering louder than anyone from Texas as Bolton takes to the pavement in one of the world’s most prestigious races.

“To say that we as a department are proud of Adam is an understatement,” Vogel said, “this is a phenomenal feat he is undertaking, not just for himself but for The National MS Society, Texas, Paris, and his community.”

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