Doug Flutie hadn’t run while training for the Boston Marathon in six weeks, nursing a pulled hamstring and a strained groin suffered in men’s league hockey.
The former NFL and Boston College quarterback finished the Boston Marathon in 05:46.57. After growing up in Natick, Flutie’s life experiences propelled him to the finish line. From playing baseball and softball in Hopkinton and Ashland to rivalries with neighboring towns and fond memories of time spent in Natick, Boston College, and Wellesley, Flutie knows every inch of the road.
“With two miles to go, I knew that I could walk it home from there if I had to,” said Flutie. “The emotion starts hitting you - when you realize that you’re going to finish and you turn that corner and see the finish line, it’s an overwhelming feeling.”
The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism raised over $350,000 and had 25 people run for the cause, which is an official charity of the Boston Marathon. The cause, which he started after his son was diagnosed with autism, remains close to Flutie’s heart and gave him the strength to trot down Boylston Street swollen with pride.
“I have this image of myself that I’m this small town guy and we’re just going to do a little foundation in our community,” said Flutie. “It all exploded because [when] I was in Buffalo, I became the starter. It’s one of the things that I’m most proud of in my life is the success that we’ve had with the foundation and people that we’ve helped.”
Cam Kerry can be reached at email@example.com.