Training with Purpose

Struggling with the loss of his father, Bobby Manning focused on running the Boston Marathon in his memory


He touched the lives of so many, and this day gave people the opportunity to come out and support me and my family and keep his memory alive.
Bobby Manning
Team BIDMC

Bobby ManningDuring a winter that saw 110 inches of snowfall, sub-zero temperatures, and blistering winds, you could still find Bobby Manning outside running, braving the Syracuse cold to get his training miles in. 

Manning’s journey to the Boston Marathon started in September 2016, when his father was diagnosed with leukemia and came to the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for care. Months later, the family had to face the ending they never really believed would happen. When Manning’s father passed away in May 2017, the road ahead for the Syracuse University freshman looked uncertain. 

Struggling with grief and trying to figure out what to do next, Manning, at the encouragement of his cousin, decided to run the Boston Marathon in memory of his father. “I have always enjoyed running, and this seemed like the perfect way to help me confront my emotions and tell my story,” Manning says.
When deciding how to go about getting a bib for one of the most prestigious races in the world, Manning knew that running for BIDMC was a no-brainer. When he speaks, his appreciation for the compassionate care his father received at BIDMC is palpable. “The nurses at the Cancer Center were incredible—always keeping my family smiling,” Manning says. “They were a big inspiration to us throughout everything.” He adds: “Rich at the Cancer Center was especially great: he brought my dad a book about beekeeping after they had talked about it one day. That one gesture really meant a lot.”

On April 16, 2018, almost a year after his father passed away, Manning crossed the finish line of the 122nd Boston Marathon. “My vision was always that the marathon would be a day for people to come together again to remember and celebrate my father’s life,” Manning reflects. “He touched the lives of so many, and this day gave people the opportunity to come out to support me and my family and keep his memory alive.”

Read Bobby's story in his own words and support his Marathon run today!