Running has been at the nucleus of Molly Parshley’s life for over 10-years. She has spent countless hours training and competing in running and is now helping athletes develop a passion for the sport as a Special Olympics coach. Although she has never run a marathon, Molly jumped at the chance to be part of Team SOMA in the 2012 Boston Marathon; she was honored to take on the physical challenge to benefit an organization close to her heart. Molly is anxious to join over 25,000 runners along with the six other members of Team SOMA at the starting line on April 16th to trek 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to the Back Bay to raise money for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Molly developed a personal enthusiasm for running when she and her dad started jogging together through their Timonium neighborhood. The special activity and time she enjoyed with her father soon set the pace for her future in the sport. Molly’s zeal for running led her to compete in track with her high school team and to go on to race in track and cross country with the team at Springfield College. One day a teammate who was affiliated with Special Olympics took Molly to a practice with the organization’s Springfield team; Molly instantly knew she wanted to start working with the athletes. That season she began volunteering as an assistant coach with the Springfield Special Olympics track team. She was able to see how her input helped athletes achieve their goals when they competed at the Summer Games a few months later.
Since graduating from college, Molly’s life has taken on new dimensions personally, physically and professionally. She currently works as a health teacher and for over three years she has also been coaching Special Olympics athletes in skating and track and field. Molly is consistently moved and inspired by the determination and dedication she witnesses through the accomplishment of athletes. They have compelled her to take on her own personal challenge of running the Boston Marathon; her first-ever marathon. Although Molly knows this could be the test of a lifetime she is inspired in her training every day by the bravery and positive attitudes athletes she coaches exhibit when faced with struggles. Molly invites residents in her town of Springfield to visit her fundraising page at: http://www.crowdrise.com/TeamSpecialOlympicsMA/fundraiser/massachusettsspecial to help her raise money for athlete training, competitions and health education.