On April 17, 2023, Thomas Smith and Rob Burnett will be participating in the 127th Boston Marathon! Thomas and Rob’s relationship began in 2020 as colleagues while working at Netcapital and the two have become great friends over the years. After Thomas’ fourth Boston Marathon finished in 2022 after being paralyzed, Rob decided he wanted to support him and raise money and awareness for the paralysis community.
Get to know Rob Burnett!
“I am running the Boston Marathon for those who can’t, so one day they can, To that end, this year I am taking part in the 127th Boston Marathon to raise money for Journey Forward via The Thomas E. Smith Foundation. Journey Forward is New England’s most comprehensive rehabilitation center for those living with paralysis.”
Why the Thomas E. Smith Foundation?
“I’ve had the pleasure of being Tom’s colleague for over two years. In that time, I’ve been able to witness firsthand his grit and determination. When he asked me if I would run with him, I couldn’t say no.”
“A little about myself. I am a lifelong outdoor enthusiast and endurance athlete. When I was 16, I started cycling competitively and continued to compete through college and beyond.
Over the course of my 10-year cycling “career,” I’ve raced road and mountain bikes all over the U.S. and around the world. Some career highlights include finishing two of the most difficult mountain bike races on the planet, the Yak Attack in Nepal, and the Mongolia Bike Challenge in Mongolia, as well as 3rd place at the US Elite 24hr Mountain Bike National Championships.
I remain an avid cyclist and skier. One thing I have never been is a runner. For my whole life, I’ve never been able to embrace running. I’ve always been slow, and every time I’ve tried to get into running I’ve hurt myself. The tendons in my legs are particularly sensitive.
So, when Tom asked me to run the Boston Marathon with him, I was initially skeptical. But knowing Tom’s story, and how much he has overcome, some tight hamstrings suddenly seemed like a pretty weak excuse. So, with much apprehension, I signed up and set myself a goal of persevering to finish the marathon.”
“My goal is to raise $13,100, $500 for every mile I run with Tom. I ask that you please join me in my efforts. Thank you for your generosity and support. Tom and I Iook forward to crossing the finish line on April 17, 2023!”