Lisa Burdick’s 17-Year Journey: Running the Boston 10k for Women

Every runner has a unique story, a personal connection to the sport that fuels their passion. For Lisa Burdick, the Boston 10K for Women is more than just a race; it’s a celebration of milestones.

Lisa’s journey with the Boston 10K for Women began in 2007, and in 2023, she will proudly run her 17th race. It has become an annual tradition she looks forward to. Reflecting on her high school days in Durham, North Carolina, Lisa recalls reading about the Bonne Bell Mini-Marathon in Boston, a race exclusively for women. She always knew she wanted to run that race, and when she moved to Boston, she finally seized the opportunity. Once she crossed the starting line, there was no turning back.

Lisa’s birthday falls on October 14, and when the race was occasionally held on the Monday holiday, it aligned perfectly with her special day. In the year she turned 50, she set a unique goal: to get 50 women to run the race with her. Although she didn’t quite reach her target, she did rally a team of 15 women to either run or cheer them on. Two of those women have continued their running journey. Now, as Lisa approaches her 60th birthday, she hopes to see those friends join her again. The race is a week before her birthday this year, and she’s invited friends to be part of an informal team, Team LingLing, with matching t-shirts. What better way to celebrate a milestone birthday than by having friends run a 10K together?

Lisa’s return to running in 2007 was prompted by her youngest son’s diagnosis with a brain tumor. Determined to make a difference, she joined a team from MGH to run the Boston Marathon, raising funds for pediatric cancer care and research. Her first Boston 10K for Women served as a training run for the Marathon, and it was during this race that she fell in love with the event. While her marathoning days are behind her, her son has completed his treatment and is preparing for college. Lisa, on the other hand, continues to run, focusing on 5Ks and 10Ks.

Lisa set a unique goal for herself: to run a 5K or longer in every city and town in Massachusetts. Little did she know there were 351 of them! Nevertheless, she’s made remarkable progress, with 71 towns under her belt and counting. The only exception to her rule of not repeating races is the Boston 10K for Women. It’s not just any race; it’s her favorite, and the one she faithfully participates in every year.

Though Lisa admits to being slower than in her earlier running days, her determination remains unwavering. On October 7, she will once again lace up her running shoes and be back on the course. No matter the pace, what matters is her journey and connection to the sport. Best of luck on your 17th Boston 10K for Women, Lisa!

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