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Create Healthy with CEO Jayne Pope

Live Healthy

We believe that to create a healthier community, we must be the change we wish to see. We incentivize our team members through our employee health program and the HCM Wellness Center to practice healthy habits like regular exercise and good nutrition. As CEO, I am no exception.

At 60 Dr. John Ramsay Runs Boston Marathon

Dr. Ramsay Runs Boston Marathon
Distance: 26 miles, 325 yards, 42.195 Kilometers

The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world’s most prestigious road racing events. It has distinguished itself as the pinnacle event by virtue of its tradition, longevity and its method of gaining entry into the race through a special qualifying process.

Q. What motivated you to to run the Boston Marathon?

Dr. Ramsay: I have been running on and off for about 25 years. I became a more serious runner after I was injured playing basketball. I think any serious runner has the thought in the back of their mind that it would be great someday to run in the Boston Marathon. To run in the marathon though you have to meet a certain standard in your age group.

Q. What are the qualifying standards?

Dr. Ramsay: It took me about three years to prepare for the Boston Marathon. I belong to a running group in Fredericksburg so I have the camaraderie and encouragement of great runners and friends. Robert Berkline, Carla Herbig, and Glen Herzog – they all helped me while I was training and getting ready for Boston. Achieving the qualifying standard does not guarantee entry into the Boston Marathon. It gives you the opportunity to submit for registration. I had to run a certified full marathon within a time limit for being age 60: I had to finish the Houston Marathon in the men’s category within the required 3 hours and 55 minutes, which I did.

Q. Tell us about the spectators and the Boston Strong signs that we saw this year.

Dr. Ramsay: April 20th the day of the run, the weather was 40 degrees and rainy and the spectators were soaked, but they didn’t seem to mind. The people of Boston love their marathon and they almost adopt the runners. The mantra of Boston Strong came after the bombings two years ago. It is Boston’s way of saying ‘you are not going to stop us.’ As a runner you pretty much tend to have an intensity going on and you laser focus on your running, but around the 18-mile mark, I began to realize what this run meant to the spectators. So, I started giving high fives to the kids and waving and acknowledging the crowd. People went wild cheering. You saw the Boston Strong signs and it was apparent that this was a celebration for these spectators. I was wearing a t-shirt with my name on it and whenever I waved to the crowd, people starting yelling my name. The best part was that my whole family was there to see me run, my wife Suzanne, my five children, two grandchildren, and brother and sister. My mother was there too, but because of the wind and rain, we set her up at a Dunkin Donut shop along the marathon course and she saw me run past. The second best part was seeing the crowd and feeling the energy of the people and the energy from the run. It was an exciting environment from beginning to end!

Q. How long did it take to finish the marathon?

Dr. Ramsay: I finished the 26 miles in 4 hours and 8 minutes. I feel fortunate to succeed on my first try but it would be foolish of me to think that I did this all on my own. The people in my corner cheering me on—my family, the Fredericksburg community and my patients really made a difference for me.

I set a three-year goal to run the marathon and early on, I engaged a lot of my friends and patients in my plans before I started the process. I was a little nervous about it at first thinking what if I failed? But everyone cheered me on and kept me on track. Patients would ask how my training was going. They were proud of my effort. I didn’t have to win or even qualify. I had hundred of patients behind me—praying and rooting for me. So, it was not all about me at the Boston Marathon. It was also about the community of people and patients who wanted the best for me.