Meet Xtra Mile 2019 Boston Marathon Runner Ken Collins
Ken Collins was born in Youngstown, Ohio and at 4-years-old he moved to Massachusetts and grew up in Raynham, Massachusetts. Today, Ken still lives in Raynham in a house next to the one he grew up in with his wife, three kids, and dogs. In his free time, Ken enjoys spending time outdoors. Whether it’s hiking with his kids or just stilling by the pool with them. Ken also enjoys coaching youth football in the fall. The craziest thing that Ken says he has done so far in his life will be when he runs the Boston Marathon in April. Some of the proudest moments in Ken’s life are when he is able to see his kids succeed at something.
Two quotes that Ken lives his life by are: “Don’t be arrogant when you succeed, and don’t feel helpless when you fail; it’s important to remember failure precedes success,” and “Forgiving is the highest level of strength and taking revenge is the first sign of weakness.”
Ken only recently got involved with the Special Olympics movement through his brother Dan when Dan was appointed as a member of the Special Olympics Massachusetts Board of Directors. Ken was attracted to Special Olympics because of all of the efforts put forth by the individuals that make up the organization, as well as their efforts in encouraging inclusiveness. In his opinion, Special Olympics is a special organization because of their message and desire to promote the idea of inclusiveness in communities around the world. As well as the understanding that individuals with intellectual disabilities are not looking for sympathy from those around them, but rather for acceptance.
For the past few years, Ken has been running on and off. He has participated in two half marathons, but has never run a full marathon before. He’s always wanted to run the Boston Marathon, although he never thought he would have the opportunity to do so. Being able to run the Boston Marathon on the Xtra Mile team for Special Olympics Massachusetts was all the motivation that he needed in order to make his dream become a reality. Ken started training around this time last January. He began a running route in October to prepare for a half marathon in Raynham in December. He is now running four days a week, one of the days being an extra-long run, and hopes to join the Heartbreakers in Newton for their long runs in the upcoming weeks. Ken’s motivation for when he doesn’t feel like running is the athletes and the challenges that they face on a daily basis. He reminds himself that the challenges that they have to face are not something that they chose, they didn’t voluntarily sign up for the obstacles they face each and every day. When he thinks of them, and what they have to go through day in and day out, it shows the perspective of how minor his struggle to run really is.
“I want to raise awareness for Special Olympics and the importance of community inclusivity for those with intellectual disabilities. That is without a doubt what inspires me the most,” he said.