buildOn CFO Runs Boston Marathon to Build School in Senegal

Stephanie Skryzowski, buildOn CFO, is training to run her second Boston Marathon with Team buildOn.

Stephanie Skryzowski, buildOn CFO, is training to run her second Boston Marathon with Team buildOn.

By Stephanie Skryzowski

As the Chief Financial Officer of buildOn, I’ve been to Senegal and seen how buildOn breaks the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education. In a small coastal village in Senegal, I visited a tiny schoolroom built entirely of sticks where children sat in the sand to learn every day.

The school we’re building with the Boston Marathon funds will allow hundreds of children the opportunity for education in a safe environment. I’ve visited many of our 500+ schools in Africa, Asia and Central America and figure that if these villagers can work together to construct an entire school on their own, then I can commit to running 26.2 miles and raising $5,500 for buildOn.

This will be my second time running the legendary Boston Marathon with Team buildOn. I happen to have an incredibly generous circle of family and friends who supported me in raising money for buildOn last year, and many are repeat donors this year. Now I’m reaching beyond my circle to friends and colleagues of friends, local restaurants and running shops. I’m only halfway to my goal of $5,500, so I’ve still got tons of networking and asking to do to meet my goal.

Boston is perhaps the most elite marathon in the world so to participate two years in a row is a dream. I soaked in every bit of my first Boston experience, despite the record high temperatures – during which I forgot all of my mental training and secretly hoped to break an ankle and be carried to the finish line on Boylston Street. All my bones remained intact, however, and I finished the race in 4 hours and 45 minutes. It was much slower than my goal time but I was just happy to finish on my feet.

I’ve attempted a similar training plan as last year; three mid-distance runs during the week (six to eight miles) and a long run on the weekend, ranging from 10 to 20 miles. I usually try to stick to a pace consistent with my goal marathon pace, to ensure my body and my head that I can sustain myself for four hours on my feet. I cross-train by walking, practicing yoga and doing some core exercises thrown in for good measure, which have prevented injuries; although, I did sustain an extremely bloody foot from a mysterious wound during my recent 19-miler.

I started running after college because I thought it would be cool to be a “runner”. Three miles was an incredibly tough distance, but 5ks became easier and I eventually graduated to my first half-marathon a week before my wedding. After completing those agonizing 13.1 miles, I ran several more half-marathons, declaring I would never want to run a full marathon, yet here I am, back for seconds!

Visit Stephanie’s fundraising page and make a contribution today!