In her words she ‘dabbled’ in sports as a kid. First in gymnastics. Then soccer and lacrosse. But she finally settled on cheerleading, because the thing was, she didn’t like to run.
Charlyn Friedman grew up in Acton, MA, went to Acton-Boxborough High School and graduated from Roger Williams University. Her cheerleading career ended after her freshman year and she ran a little, not much and not long, just a little, because she just didn’t like to run.
But then something happened. No, not the big revelation or awakening, just a little thing. A small feeling. A feeling that drove Charlyn to run a 5k in Cambridge in with her friend Sarah, late July of 2014. It was a humble athletic beginning but what a beginning.
Since that weekend, she has completed 2 marathons and countless shorter races. Charlyn’s weekly training begins with short 3-5 mile runs, followed by mid-week speed work, 6-9 miles at week’s end and a long run on the weekend, anywhere from 10–20 miles. Indoor, outdoors, Westford or Wakefield, it doesn’t matter to her. As long as she’s running with Sarah. The friend who started this ‘madness’ and remains a big part of Charlyn’s motivation.
Like most athletes, Charlyn loves the social aspect of sports. The friends made, the training runs, the post-race camaraderie. But the true gift that sports has given her was realized last month when she ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. The true gift for her was the giving back, the fundraising she did for the Semper Fi Fund and the feeling of giving something back to the brave men and women of the USMC.
So she’ll continue her running. The fun runs like the Devil’s Chase in Salem or the marathons, like the Maine Coast Marathon every May. And many new ones too.
It’s not about her times but rather the accomplishment. And the giving back. Not bad for a woman who didn’t like to run. Not bad at all.