On Monday, April 17, 19-year old Needham resident Patrick Caron will make the journey from Hopkinton to Boston as part of the 121st Boston Marathon. Patrick is running and fundraising his second Boston Marathon for the Boston Bulldogs Running Club, a local non-profit organization with a unique mission: to promote wellness and recovery in a safe, anonymous and supportive community for everyone affected by addiction - those in recovery, their families and friends, the clinical community, and the Boston community-at-large. Patrick has been with the club since its launch in 2015, volunteering as a coach and race director, currently planning the 2nd Annual Run for Recovery 5K, May 7, at Franklin Park in Boston.
The Bulldogs’ unique mission and growing popularity are a testament to the positive therapeutic influence of wellness and community on recovery, according to club founder “Coach” Ferullo. The club promotes an integrated approach to wellness to encourage physical, social and emotional growth among members, offering weekly runs for people of all abilities. While Bulldog members all do battle together to fight addiction as well as the stigmas and stereotypes that accompany the disease, Ferullo distinguishes them as “kind-hearted” warriors.
“On any given day when you participate in a Bulldogs run or an event, there is no distinction among those in recovery and those supporting them, and no questions are asked,” Ferullo said. “We’re in this together; we fight the disease together, but in that fight, we are kind-hearted and accepting of all who join us.”
Since its founding in 2015, the Bulldogs continues to grow in numbers and expand into additional areas of Boston. In addition to weekly runs on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings in Cleveland Circle, the ‘Dogs are now running every Sunday morning and Tuesday evening in Nelson Park, Plymouth. The Club offers wellness and recovery seminars and Bulldog “ambassadors,” who are in recovery, run on a regular basis with those who are interested. Every dollar of the Club’s donations through membership and running events goes back to supporting Bulldogs – to sponsor those in recovery with their race fees, running gear and support for their financial, clinical and wellness needs as they move forward in recovery.
“By running the 2017 Boston Marathon for the Boston Bulldogs, my main hope and goal is to reach more individuals who can benefit from the Club's support - through our coaching, our mentoring, and more simply stated, our friendships,” Caron says. “As someone who has been running for as long as I can remember, I can attest to the fact that an activity as simple as running can have a truly transformational impact on one's day to day life.”
To donate, visit: www.bostonbulldogsrunning.org/patrickcaronfundraising.