When resident, Jordan Griffiths was 11 years old, she accidentally stumbled across running when she broke her finger and was unable to play in a soccer tournament. Instead, she ran the Seaside Stride and came in first place for under 18 and third place for the overall women’s category. Years later, armed with a running resume that includes a long list of competitive races, Griffiths is taking on the ultimate runner’s challenge…the Boston Marathon.
The 2013 graduate of Winthrop High School was recently selected by Mass General Institute of Health Professions (MGHIHP) to wear their bib and serve as a representative for the 2020 Boston Marathon. Having received her master’s degree in speech language pathology from MGHIHP, Griffiths is grateful to combine her love of running with her professional passion.
“I was so ecstatic when I found out I had been selected to run the marathon for MGHIHP. I had applied about a month earlier but having never ran a marathon and with limited fundraising experience, I did not anticipate actually being selected. When I got the email confirming my acceptance I was at work and broke out into hives because I was feeling so overwhelmed and overjoyed. MGHIHP only chose two runners this year, so I am feeling so grateful to have been provided this opportunity.”
This won’t be Griffiths first time at the Boston Marathon finish line. In 2013, while working as a volunteer, Griffiths was 50 yards past the finish line when the Boston Marathon bombs went off. At the first sound, Griffiths and fellow runner, Julia Wallace, were struck with confusion, and they were immediately told to “run” by Winthrop retired track coach, Larry Keegan, who had been in charge of the finish line volunteer team.
“We grabbed hands and ran all the way to the Commons. We heard the second bomb go off as we were running away through the crowds. We got so far so fast that people were actually yelling at us to stop running because they didn’t know what was happening.”
The moments that followed are tattooed on Griffiths mind, and she will never forget how fast her dad came to the rescue to bring her home to safety.
“I will always be thankful for Julia, Larry, Deb (his wife), and of course my parents, for keeping me safe during that horrific event.”
This spring, Griffiths is making her way back to the finish line, on a mission to raise money for the MGHIHP, specifically for their IMPACT practice center, an on campus clinic that provides therapy services to people in the greater Boston area free of charge.
“Private therapy can be insanely expensive, and it cannot always be obtained by people who need it,” said Griffiths. “The IMPACT center allows people who may not have access to services to receive life changing, high quality care. It also provides a way to train the health care professionals of tomorrow. Students do their first year of clinical work there. The IMPACT center is set up so that students can be closely supervised while still getting to develop their clinical skills. It is truly an amazing concept for all.”
If you are interested in helping Griffiths raise funds for the organization, please visit: