Location: Londonderry, NH
Previous Boston Marathon Appearances: 1
His Marathon Story:
Ten years ago, Tim Morris was, in his words, a “run-of-the-mill, dime-a-dozen personal trainer.” Today, he’s breaking athletic boundaries—all from his wheelchair.
Morris’ life changed in 2007, when he seriously injured his spinal cord in a distracted driving accident. He spent a month in a medically induced coma, and awoke to find himself paralyzed from the chest down.
“The first step was taking ownership, [realizing,] ‘Nobody did this to you. But nobody can pull yourself out of this situation except for you,'” Morris says. “I kind of just reevaluated my life and the way I was living it.”
Among other things, that meant refocusing, and strengthening, his passion for fitness.
“Before my injury, I was a big talker about things I wanted to do in the future, but it always stayed in the future,” Morris says. “I wanted to do an Iron Man—or at least I talked about wanting to do an Iron Man.”
Post-accident, Morris turned talk into action. Following treatment at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, he took up obstacle racing and triathlons, eventually becoming the first wheelchair athlete to complete a Tough Mudder.
The Boston Marathon entered the picture last year, when he lined up in Hopkinton to represent Spaulding in the wheelchair race. Despite his other athletic achievements, the New Hampshire resident wasn’t sure what to expect from the world’s oldest annual marathon.
“It was my first time running Boston, and I didn’t do as hot as I had hoped to. I didn’t know what I didn’t know,” he says. “[But] I experienced why this is the elite marathon in the world. It was such an amazing experience, and the support from the Spaulding team was just incredible.”
He’s raising money for the rehab hospital again this year, with his sister, Eileen, by his side. The siblings have together raised more than $8,500, with an ultimate goal of $12,000.
And while Morris says the chance to support Spaulding with his sister is “really special,” he also wants to come back for round two better, faster, and stronger. His goal is to finish in two hours or less, putting himself on track to compete for a third time in 2018.
“In Boston, for the entire 26 miles, there’s crowd support cheering you on. It’s pretty spectacular,” Morris says. “I’m looking forward to again supporting an organization that I love and means so much to me, but also just living in the moment and having an overall better experience, a better performance than last year.”
To donate to Tim and Eileen’s fundraiser, click here.