RUNNING DAD PROFILE:
NAME: Benjay Kempner
RESIDENCE: Norfolk, Virginia
FAMILY: Married, gaggle of kids
OCCUPATION: Anesthesiology Resident
Introduction: I met Benjay on the Shamrock Marathon course in March 2014. We ran together for the last 6 or 7 miles. When you finish a marathon with someone, you’ve got a friend for life. Since we finished within seconds of each other, we are both in the same starting corral at Boston. We are planning on running together with a common goal time. Benjay will be part of Team Running Dad at Boston!
How long have you been a runner?
I started running distance in medical school. I would run to organize my thoughts after hours of studying. This led to longer and longer runs. There was always more to study. I also discovered what every runner knows: There is no stress in the world that can’t be diminished by pounding the pavement for a few miles.
Do you find it difficult to balance running and your family life? How have you managed especially during marathon training season?
Finding time for any extra curriculars is hard when you are an Anesthesiology resident working 60-80 hours per week. Throw a family and kids into the mix and free time is non-existent. So, I sacrifice sleep and run the 8.6 miles to work a few times per week, and then I will wake up ridiculously early on a day off to do a long run. It has not been the best training season, but it’s been enough.
Are you excited for the upcoming Boston Marathon? How many marathons have you run? How many Boston Marathons?
This will be my third Boston and 8th overall marathon.
It is my favorite race. It happens on Patriots Day, a holiday only celebrated in New England. Schools and government offices are closed. Hundreds of thousands of Americans line the streets and celebrate the city. We are cheered on by a 26 mile party. There is nothing else like that.
How would you describe the months that have lead up to the Boston Marathon?
I suffered two injuries (neither running related) in the months leading up to Boston. One had me in a boot for a few weeks. I wondered if I would be able to BOUNCE back in time to make it all the way to Boylston Street. This was ironic as it was BOUNCING on a trampoline with my kids that blew up my gasteocnemus tendon in the first place. When I had a cycling accident a few weeks later, I was sure karma was out to get me. I bided my time, rehabilitated patiently, and got back to serviceable (not PR) form.
Are you prepared both mentally and physically?
Does a bear….
What advice would you give Boston First-Timers?
You work so hard to EARN an entry into this race. It takes over a year of work to pull off qualifying and then training for this race. You arrive in Hopkinton amped up and ready to rock. It’s easy to get lost in the moment.
ENJOY IT! There is so much to see. There are fans lining the streets FOR YOU. The city smiles at you and you should bask in each memorable step. The WORST thing about the race is that it’s over after 3 hours. As soon as you finish, you want to start the day over and run it again. There is always next year…
Do you have a goal for Boston?
Finish Strong despite my recent injuries.
After all of the excitement of Boston is over, what is next on your list of goals?
I will be finishing my residency in Anesthesiology this summer. I can finally begin my independent practice of medicine. Moreover, I will be spending much more time with my family than I ever could while in residency. That is the most exciting thing of all.
Any advice for other Running Dads / Moms or other runners?
Why do moms and dads run? Because sometimes all you have is 20 minutes. Well, give me 20 minutes and a pair of sneakers and I’ll hammer out a few miles. Rain or shine. No other equipment needed. Visiting grandma in New Brunswick? Great! I’ve never run there before!