Living strong

Sean Murphy

Photo By meredith j. cooper

Sean Murphy, a local sports buff, father of two, copywriter for Improvement Direct and occasional CN&R contributor, has just joined an elite circle. The longtime runner, pushed by a friend, was inspired to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon, one of the world’s most prestigious long-distance events. For his age group—he’s 36—he had to beat 3 hours, 15 minutes just to be eligible to run in the April 20 race. Of course, he beat that time, then decided to take it a step further by joining Team LiveStrong and raising thousands of dollars for cancer research. (It’s no secret, either, that Murphy bears a resemblance to Lance Armstrong.) To donate to his cause, log onto his fundraising Web site.

Tell me about the marathon.

I’ve always been into running. My wife, Megan, got me into half-marathoning. From there, I didn’t think I could really qualify for the Boston Marathon but a friend of mine said, “You should try to qualify for Boston. I think you can do it.” Then I rattled off a couple of qualifying times and here I am. But I’m nowhere near elite. There are plenty of people in this town who can run much faster than I, but I’m just proud to be part of the Boston Marathon.

How did you get to be part of the LiveStrong team?

My dad, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer and beat it—he’s totally cancer free. And my step-sister Alisa is battling her second brain tumor now. She’s doing chemo and radiation. They’re both fighters, and they’re both runners. My dad introduced me to running when I was in fifth grade. And Alisa, she lives in Humboldt and she runs through the forest. We’ve gone running a couple of times. It’s this little bond that we have. I found out about the Lance Armstrong Foundation through Facebook. They sent out a message saying, “Hey, if there’s anyone who’s running the Boston Marathon and you want to run for Team LiveStrong, first come, first served.” I furiously typed a message and I was chosen. It’s a nice honor.

How many people are on that team?

Thirty-eight. There are 22,000 people registered to run the Boston Marathon. It’s a big race, too, it’s not just prestigious.

How much money are you trying to raise?

My goal is $5,000. We’re getting down to less than a month now, so things are heating up. It’s starting to pick up. Every time I get a donation, I just think, “Wow. This person took the time to go to my LiveStrong page, and they read what I had to say, and then they thought, this is a good cause.” It’s humbling.