Krystle Campbell’s legacy motivates UMass Boston’s marathon runners
When Robyn Dangora, Suzzanne Freeze, and Paul Dyson cross the start line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, they’ll be thinking about making it through those next 26.2 miles to the finish line on Boylston Street -- but they’ll also be thinking about Krystle Campbell.
Campbell is the UMass Boston alumna who was killed in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
“I do think about Krystle a lot,” said Dyson, a senior lecturer in English and UMass Boston alumnus. “I’m a veteran and unfortunately, I’ve lost enough friends to think about somebody at every mile, but I do think about Krystle most of all. I feel like she carries me along. I’m not a particularly religious or spiritual person, but I definitely feel a connection there.”
Dyson, Dangora, and Freeze are the three on-campus runners taking part in this year’s Run for Krystle. They will join seven other UMass Boston alumni and friends in running Monday’s Boston Marathon to raise funds for the Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund. Started in 2013 by UMass Trustee Richard Campbell, who is not related to Krystle, it supports students like her. This year’s recipients, Leona Smith of Revere and Eden Blakeley of Dorchester, received $5,000 scholarships during a ceremony on Saturday.
Freeze, a program director at UMass Boston’s Institute for Community Inclusion who is running her second straight Boston Marathon for the Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund, was glad Campbell’s father, William, was able to attend Saturday’s ceremony. Like Dyson, Freeze says she carries Krystle Campbell with her on training runs and shorter races.
“There was one half marathon in Rhode Island that I don’t know why I signed up for it. It should have been canceled. And I thought, I don’t really want to go. And then I thought to myself, and you know what, her family doesn’t want to get out of bed today either. And I thought, you can do this. And it’s those kind of moments where you think, I can’t change what happened, but I can make this one moment a little bit better,” Freeze said.
Freeze says her training these last two years has turned her into a runner; Dyson hadn’t run for more than 10 miles at a time when an email from University Advancement last year convinced him to take the next step.
“I’ve always wanted to run a marathon but I never really went to pursue it,” Dyson said. “I realized that Krystle could have been one of my students, or one my colleagues’ students, so I just felt it was the right time to do it.”
Now, Dyson is taking part in the Run for Krystle for the second time. Robyn Dangora, the director of alumni relations at UMass Boston and a 2016 graduate of the MBA program, is also on the Run for Krystle Team for the second time, having previously run in 2015.
“One of the first events I went to [as an employee] was the unveiling of the Krystle Campbell portrait that now hangs in our Alumni Lounge. Her father was there and it was really emotional in a way that I didn’t expect, so when I had the opportunity to run for the Run for Krystle team I seized that opportunity,” Dangora said.
To support the Run for Krystle Team and the Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund, go to the Run for Krystle page.
About UMass Boston
The University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 11 colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 17,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit www.umb.edu.