By Peyton Heller
Special Olympics Massachusetts Development Intern
Tanya Sullivan’s involvement with Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) started about 5 years ago when her son, William, was asked to take part in the Five Town School Day Games where he and many other school aged athletes were able to compete in a specific sport-themed event. With the day filled with excitement, dedication and even a surprise special guest, Tanya says it was a day she will never forget. “Last year, Rob Gronkowski (yes, Gronk!) surprised everyone by showing up in Ashland to run football plays with every athlete at the games. We will never forget that day and will always appreciate his time and dedication to children with special needs. Each year WIlliam has grown more confident, capable, and enthusiastic to participate.”
Tanya is very excited to be running for SOMA as part of the Xtra Mile team, especially because of her son’s recent involvement. She is extremely thankful for everything that SOMA has done for her family. “William takes pride in the medals he has won and in the athletic efforts he has made to earn them. We are so grateful for the Special Olympics of Massachusetts for giving our family the gift of this experience. Running Falmouth for the Special Olympics of MA is my way of giving back to such a special organization that will always hold a place in my heart.”
William has now been involved with the Milford Special Olympics Swim Team for two years now, and his dedication to his team has truly inspired his family. During this years’ games, William was awarded the silver medal in the 50 meter backstroke and a bronze medal in the 50 meter freestyle. Tanya was extremely proud of not only William for his accomplishments, but also her husband and other son, Aidan, for dedicating their time to be official SOMA volunteers at the swimming events.
Spending most of her summers in Falmouth, Tanya has had lots of practice running this road race. “Falmouth Road Race was the first “official” road race I ran after having my third son (I was probably 30). I wasn’t really a “runner” until after I had kids. I had to find efficient exercise where I could take them with me in a stroller (or double stroller most of the time).”
Even though Tanya’s favorite time of day to run is in the early morning, she is still extremely excited to be running in the midday heat for Special Olympics. We thank you for all your support and we cannot wait to see you cross that finish line in August!
Want to run Falmouth, bike in the Rodman Ride for Kids, or a number of other races?Join the Xtra Mile today!