American Red Cross Iron Heart Blood Drives

Brian, spokesperson for the American Red Cross Greater Chesapeake and Potomac (GC&P) Blood Services Region and blood recipient, recently completed the autobiographical Iron Heart, telling the true-life story of how he returned from the dead.  It is dedicated to the faculty and staff of Prince George’s Hospital and the many others who aided in his recovery. 

“Blood is needed for emergencies like mine, and for people undergoing treatment for cancer, those with chronic blood disorders, premature babies, people in need of surgery, and many others.  For the nearly 5 million people who receive blood transfusions every year, a blood donation can make the difference between life and death,” said Brian.  

The American Red Cross will be hosting a special series of blood drives in December and January in honor of local Red Cross hero and author, Brian J. Boyle.  This blood drive is a special thank you for the ongoing support of the community who made Brian’s recovery possible. 

All blood drive participants will receive a limited-American Red Cross-edition of Iron Heart.  Boyle will also attend the event to thank donors, autograph books, take photos, and meet with fans, friends, and family who helped him in his recovery. 

Brian said, “When I needed it, the American Red Cross was there with 36 blood transfusions and 13 plasma treatments that saved my life in a situation where time was of the essence.  Volunteer blood donors made this possible.  By giving just a little bit of their time, blood donors gave me a lifetime.”

Click to View the Schedule of Iron Heart Blood Drives


Philadelphia Marathon Race Recap

Going into Philadelphia for the fifth marathon in a little over a month, I was really hoping to do well and finally reach my big goal for 2009 of going sub 4.  I kept coming so close to the 4 hour mark during the past few races, but just couldn’t quite to seem to break through that mental and physical barrier.  Each race would become more difficult because my body was wearing down, but the great thing was that my determination was increasing and really making up for that minimal recovery.  And sunday, I knew what I had to do, I had to do this. 

As soon as the race started, with my legs feeling like they were made of lead, something just clicked in my mind where I shut out all the negative energy and focused on running strong.  I just took off, maneuvering through the crowds of runners, weaving in and out of spectators on the sidewalks and streets, basically just running on pure adrenaline.  In the back of my mind I was a little worried because I have a tendency to go out to fast early in the race and just try to hold on for dear life, which I know isn’t the best strategy for a marathon, but i knew i had to do it to reach my goal.  

After mile 1, my legs were already feeling tired and my feet were already beginning to fail on me (which usually doesn’t happen until mile 18-21), which immediately put me in damage control. I didn’t slow down, but only quickened the pace faster, and quickened the mile splits from 9:30 to 9:15 and then by mile 3 to 9:00.  Thankfully my mind shut off all the feelings of soreness that were consuming me, and by mile 6 I was running between 8:30-9:00 mile splits.  

By mile 13, I was running on pure emotion, thinking back on all that I have been through over the years and thinking of all the incredible support I’ve received.  I kept looking at my watch and repeatedly thought to myself, “Can I actually do this? Will today be the day?”.  My body was still cooperating at this point, but I was really worried about what was going to happen around mile 20 and beyond because I would usually run out of steam at that point.  But, as soon as I arrived at mile 20, it was amazing because I experienced something that I never experienced in a race before – I  felt stronger than ever.  With tears in my eyes and fire surging through my heart, I raced through the next few miles and crossed the finish line in 3:52 – dropping 12 minutes from my personal best time (4:04) from the Richmond marathon last weekend. 

It was a goal of mine to break four hours this year in the marathon, and on sunday, I can happily say that it was finally accomplished. 

After all that I have experienced in my life, I am one of the most grateful and appreciative people in the world – not only to have the ability to live life to the fullest, but to have all this incredible support. Thank You! 

Oct. 10 – Baltimore Marathon (4:08)

Oct. 25 – Marine Corps Marathon (4:33)

Nov. 1 – New York City Marathon (4:11)

Nov. 14 – Richmond Marathon (4:04)

Nov. 22 – Philadelphia Marathon (3:52)

Richmond Marathon Race Recap

This past saturday, November 14, I ran in the Suntrust Richmond marathon, which was my fourth marathon in a little over four weeks.  It was a great race and I was so happy and surprised to set a personal best by dropping four minutes off my fastest marathon time.

With all the experience that I have been gaining in these marathons, I decided to change the race strategy a little bit for Richmond.  I usually get caught up with all the excitement in the first few miles of the race and burn out near the end where my legs refuse to fire anymore. But, this past weekend I ran the first twenty miles at a conservative pace, focusing on a steady and patient rhythm. By mile 23, where I usually have the most difficulty, I began to use the energy that I had been saving up and the last mile of the race was the fastest split of the marathon.

With minimal recovery and limited tapering, I have set my sights on the Philadelphia marathon this upcoming weekend as the last marathon of the 2009 season. I know it may seem a little bizarre to run five marathons back to back, but its all about living life to the fullest.  I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to run in all these big races and the people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had are extraordinary.  

My marathon goal for 2009 has been to run a sub-4 hour marathon, and this weekend in Philadelphia, I hope to accomplish this goal. 

Oct. 10 – Baltimore Marathon (4:08)
Oct. 25 – Marine Corps Marathon (4:33)
Nov. 1 – New York City Marathon (4:11)
Nov. 14 – Richmond Marathon (4:04) 

As always, thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and an even bigger thank you for  your incredible and encouraging messages! Your support truly means so much to me.

Brian Boyle on NBC 12 News of Richmond

2009 New York City Marathon

nycbbThis past weekend, Nov. 1, I ran in the NYC marathon along with 40,000+ other runners and it was definitely the most action-packed marathon of them all this year (all the marathons that I have done have been incredible, but the NYC marathon is on a different level in terms of the crowds of spectators).

It was my third marathon in the past month and I was a little worried about it because I was imagining that my time was going to be pretty rough due to the limited amount of recovery from the previous races, but as soon as I crossed the starting line, the adrenaline was soaring. The cheering of the crowds on every street in every borough was so intense.  The first twenty miles of the race seemed to go by so quick because of the support from the crowd, and I was so happy that I wasn’t having any cramps or any leg problems. At mile 22 I had the fortunate opportunity to meet up with Deena Kastor (took bronze in the 2004 Olympics for the marathon).  She was doing live interviews throughout the race for NBC and when I reached mile 22 I was able to do a quick interview with her, which was awesome because it kept my mind off the pain that was rapdily beginning to surface; a normal occurence at this point in the marathon for me.  The last two miles in Central Park were really tough and all the energy that I had used already in the race finally caught up to me and forced me to alternate between walking and jogging – moving forward, no matter how slow, is what mattered most to me 🙂  I knew Central Park was going to be difficult because I had already ran the course back in July in the NYC triathlon, but again with the support of the crowd and cheering spectators, I was able to get moving again and ran to the finish line four minutes away from setting a personal best. It was a great day, New York was a blast, and ultimately, the NYC marathon will be a memory that I will always cherish.

Next up on the race list – the Richmond marathon in two weeks!

Brian Boyle on Comcast’s “Washington Post Live”