If you’re a runner who has tackled a few marathons, the Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) needs you on its team or supporting them financially.

If you’re a runner who has tackled a few marathons, the Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) needs you on its team.

If running isn’t your thing, you can still be part of the MTFs Boston Marathon Running for Research team by providing financial support.

MTF has been given four bibs, or invitational entries, for the 2018 Boston Marathon by the John Hancock Marathon Non-Profit Program. MTF is searching for four qualified runners to be part of their team, MTF—Running for Research.

The selected runners will be able to have an opportunity to raise money for massage therapy scientific research, education and community service. To be on the team, you don’t need to have a qualifying time. You just need to have a desire to raise money for massage therapy research.

Running the Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is one of the most prestigious, well-known and respected running events in the world. Athletes from across the globe travel to Boston every Patriot’s Day to compete in this race. It is also one of the most difficult events to qualify for in running. However, to run for the MTF team, as well as other nonprofit organizations, runners only need to commit to fundraising for the organization.

This is the sixth year the foundation has participated in the event. To be a part of the MTF team, and to be selected, runners have a fundraising goal. The money that they raise will help further MTF’s research endeavors, which will advance the knowledge of the massage field for massage therapists and educate the public about the benefits of massage therapy.

The People

The team last year raised $61,190 for massage research.

Vincent Dufort, Ph.D, L.M.T., a massage therapist from Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, ran in the Boston Marathon last year for MTF’s team. This was not his first time running a marathon but was his first time running the Boston Marathon.

“Running the [Boston] Marathon was an experience beyond what I had ever expected,” he said. “I didn’t get the intensity of it until I was in the race, and I realized how monumental it was from start to finish.”

However, this was the first marathon he said he’s run where he’s had support from people on the sidelines. The Massage Therapy Foundation was incredibly helpful and supportive, he said, not only from the fundraising side but also from the support side, which included weekly phone calls.

“It absolutely was a rewarding experience,” he said. “Just go for it.”

John Combe, L.M.T., B.C.T.M.B., a massage therapist from LaGrande, Oregon, ran the Boston Marathon for MTF in 2015. As a massage therapist, he has worked with elite athletes, especially runners, in Oregon. This was his first time running the Boston Marathon and his first time running with a charity bib. However, it was not his first time tackling the marathon distance.

He said that running the Boston Marathon was one word: surreal.

“It was truly a bucket list item,” he said. “I was not only getting to do Boston as a runner, but I was getting to do this as a massage therapist.”

Training for a marathon is so unique in its own stance, he said, but adding that layer of fundraising is something that makes the experience so rewarding and unique.

“The cause of the Massage Therapy Foundation was a big passion for me,” he said, adding that everyone on the MTF running team had the same fundraising focus for the organization, which helped make it an even more special experience.

Combe said that he can see first-hand the impact that massage has on an athlete’s performance because of his work with elite runners and athletes through massage. Massage therapists help athletes perform their best by helping them recover from strenuous exercise as well as prepare for events, such as the marathon.

Research as well as getting the word out to the community, he said, will help to show the everyday person how valuable massage is not only for athletes but also for everyone, too.

Applications for consideration to run on the team are due November 17. The application is available on MTF’s website.

About the Author

Hannah Fell is the associate editor for MASSAGE Magazine and Chiropractic Economics magazine.


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