On November 3, Jake Dietrich achieved one of his dreams by running in and completing the TCS NYC Marathon as a member of Team Fox — to raise money for Parkinson’s research. The following is question-answer interview with Jake.
When did you decide to do the marathon?
I’ve been thinking about doing it for a while, it was always something I wanted to do and this summer I was accepted by Team Fox to run for them.
What does it mean to you to take part in the marathon?
—It was a dream come true - and being able to run for a charity that means so much to me made it extra special. The energy and support from the city, the spectators and everyone running (over 50,000 runners and 1,000,000 spectators) it was truly something I will never forget.
Tell me what it was like to have your parents with you and other members of the family.
—It meant a lot to have Mom and Dad there, they have both been through so much together at the expense of Parkinson’s so it was great to share this with them. Nick also made it out from BC, and captured some really great moments on camera - it was super special to have him there - and of course the big smooch my wife gave me at the halfway mark in Brooklyn (mile 13), kept me going until the end! I couldn’t have done it without you all!
Tell me about Michael J Fox - he seems like such an amazing individual. Your mom said when your dad and Michael met she knew by their eyes they understood what the other was going through and really no words were needed. Did you see that too?
—I did see that, I not only saw it - I felt it, it was quite surreal. You could tell that they instantly connected or understood each other on another level. He (MJF) was awesome, he gave an extremely heartfelt speech to us all. He’s an amazing man that has done so many great things for the Parkinson’s community.
How long did you train for the marathon?
—I trained for about 14 weeks, running at least 3 times per week, with a long distance run every Saturday.
What did you learn about yourself - at any point in the run?
—Running is such a mental game, a lot like life. We can always push beyond our limits, and dig a little deeper if we focus on all the good things around us. I’m a big believer in the power of positive thought and enjoying the moment even if you’re not in an ideal position at the time - you can always find good in the situation, that’s something my Dad has always taught me. Running the marathon reinforced all of those beliefs for me. At about the 32 km mark my lower body was completely cramped - my whole body was telling me to stop and I still had 10 km’s to go - I thought there was no way I could finish but I was able to stop focusing on the pain by looking outwards to the crowd and the energy around me - there were so many smiling faces cheering you on, I thought of my family at the finish line, what I was going to eat when I was done, anything positive, anything that made me happy and within a couple of minutes the pain was gone - mind over matter!
Will you do it again?
—Ya definitely! Next year is the 50th anniversary of the New York Marathon so I really would like to be a part of that. There’s also one in Paris in April that I’m tempted to do if my schedule lines up.
I understand all of the money raised by MJF go directly to the Foundation - that's incredible. Did you meet your goal of $5,000?
—Last I checked we were about $100 short, so ya I’d say we did pretty good! Donations close on December 1st so there is still time. You can donate through the link in my bio on Instagram (@jrdeets) or by this link directly https://fundraise.michaeljfox.org/tcs-nyc-marathon/jrdeets
Note: Congratulation Jake on realize not only a dream but for such a good cause as well! We’re all proud of you back here in Deloraine.