Eagles Helping Eagles: Run for Colin


Soaring to Glory is proud to support the “Run for Colin,” a summer-long trek for a good cause, with a Boston College twist.

This run is being done by Joe McConaughy, a former Boston College cross country and track athlete who set out on a very special mission in June in honor of his late cousin.

To get more information on the run itself and how Eagles can support it, we spoke to Jordan Hamm, once a teammate of McConaughy who is on the road in a support role. Also part of the trip is Michael Dillon, another Boston College alum who is there in a videography role.

Joe is running the length of the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,660-mile run from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. The “Run for Colin,” in honor of Colin McConaughy, was recently featured in the Medford, Oregon Mail Tribune.

STG: Simply put, who was Colin?

JH: Colin McConaughy was Joe’s cousin, who passed away in 2012 at the age of two from Neuroblastoma. He had had flu-like symptoms that we recurring over the course of a few months, but eventually a doctor found tumors. Colin ended up passing away just nine days after the diagnosis, so it was all very sudden and shocking to the family.

STG: What inspired Joe to want to do the “Run for Colin,” and what are some of your goals? It seems to me that Joe would want to do this both to commemorate his cousin and raise awareness.

JH: That’s exactly it. He had been thinking for a while about going on a big adventure — the Pacific Crest Trail was something Joe found out about while he was in the Boy Scouts and had always wanted to do it. When his cousin passed away, it seemed like a great opportunity to do something this adventurous while also raising awareness of this disease in Colin’s honor.

STG: How has the experience been for all of you, Joe and support staff included?

JH: It has been an incredible experience. Joe has been on a high every day — his spirits are high and they get higher when he hears of the donations that keep pouring in as the word continues to spread.

For us on the support crew side, it has been a lot of fun but it has been stressful. We have to keep Joe alive on this trip and there’s a lot that goes into it with resupplying him. In spite of that, it has been an extremely rewarding experience for a good cause.

STG: Where are you and Joe now? Are you ahead of or behind schedule?

JH: We’re in Medford, Oregon now — we will be in Crater Lake National Park by tomorrow [Saturday July 26]. We are quite a bit ahead of schedule: the current record for running the Pacific Crest Trail is 59 days; Joe is on pace for 53 to 55 days so we’re excited about that.

STG: How much has the “Run for Colin” raised so far and how can your fellow Eagles (and others) help the cause?

JH: As of now, we have raised $15,233. We’re about half-way to our goal of $30,000.

People can go to our website at runforcolin.com and read our updates on the blog. They can donate through a link on that website, which will take you to community.cancercare.org/runforcolin.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter @RunforColin; on the website, visitors can also sign up for major updates on our e-mail list serv.