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Clara, 2 year old border collie mix, rescued from MS through Little Mountain Rescue & Gunnar, 2 year old pit bull terrier.

26.2 miles for the Dogs!

Elsa, 9 year old Golden & Cooper, 6 year old Lab

The 118th Boston Marathon is around the corner and while I’m not a long distance runner myself, this year I will be cheering for one Nantucket resident who is running to benefit the Animal Rescue League.

Margaret Hallowell is working to raise $7500 in donations before she laces up her sneakers on April 21 and sets off on the 26.2 mile race. As of this writing, Margaret was $1900 short of her goal. She took a break from her training and fundraising to answer a few of my questions.

What is special about the Animal Rescue League that motivated you to lace up your sneakers and take on another race?

I love that the ARL has such a rich history and was established by a woman in 1899.  Nantucket certainly knows a few strong willed, motivated women from the 19th & early 20th century!

The work the ARL does to help shape public policy is the area I am most interested in and where I intend to focus my energies going forward. I naturally fell into advocating for "pit bull terrier type dogs" once we adopted Gunnar. Pit bull terrier type dogs are the dogs most likely to end up in our shelters. There are many initiatives spearheaded by organizations such as Best Friends Animal Society that are working to overcome breed discrimination, pushing for harsher penalties in animal cruelty cases such as the Puppy Doe case in Boston, and supporting legislation that will crack down on puppy mills.

What is the hardest part of training for a marathon? Do you have anything special or unique you do to prepare?

The toughest part of training this year has been battling the elements. Snow and ice covered roads, which meant I have had to be flexible about the days I do my long runs. Although I do have a treadmill, I find running any more than 8 miles inside only aggravates old injuries. 

I can't say I do anything out of the ordinary to train. There are countless training programs available but I take what I've learned over almost 30 years as a runner and shape it to my life. The most important part for me is to get in 5-6 runs of 14-20 miles over the course of 3-4 months. 

How many marathons have you run and where were they? 

I've run about a dozen marathons. I believe most life long runners ultimately want to run a marathon even if marathons are not necessarily their strength as a runner. My first marathon was the Cape Cod Marathon in 1991. 

I qualified for Boston, so 8 months later in April of 1992, I ran the Boston Marathon. Running Boston was thrilling but my favorite marathon by far is the NYC Marathon. I grew up outside the city so I still feel an allegiance to NYC despite living in Boston and Nantucket for 27 years. I loved running across the bridges and through the neighborhoods and finishing in Central Park.

What are your thoughts on a marathon that dogs can run in? Good or bad idea.

Absolutely not. Sure there are dogs such as the Rhodesian Ridgeback that can run distance and my own Mississippi mutt, Clara, a border collie mix could no doubt, run the distance but no dog should be required to run on a leash a predetermined distance.

Of course this is just my opinion but I did read up on the topic of 'dogs running in marathons' and the general consensus is that it is not a good idea to risk injury by requiring a dog to run such a distance.

If you would like to support Margaret and the Animal Rescue Lease, Donations can be made through the Crowdrise, or a check can be written to the ARL of Boston and sent to: 
15 Trotts Hills Road 
Nantucket, MA 02554

Marty is voiced by Janet Forest a full time pet sitter on Nantucket.