Forming Ties with Team BMC

Dylan Abbott has bragging rights amongst his friends. Each time, they engage in some friendly competition of who will finish first in local races. Dylan always manages to win. “Oh, I probably bring it up on a daily basis,” he says of reminding his friends about his victory. But running is about so much more than being able to beat out his friends. The activity is an important part of his recovery from a substance use disorder—a journey that started in July 2017. Since then, he has participated in many races with his friends, which included their first triathlon this past summer. Always preferring to raise money for a charity while racing, Dylan and his friends opted to sign up for the Columbia Threadneedle Investments Boston Triathlon with Boston Medical Center’s athletic fundraising team, Team BMC. With BMC as the race’s charity partner, triathletes were able to swim, bike and run in support of Vision 2030—the hospital’s long-term goal to make Boston the healthiest urban population by 2030—with a particular emphasis on BMC’s addiction programs and services.

Dylan’s choice to support Boston Medical Center came as an easy decision. “I looked into [BMC] and saw how fantastic the work they are doing is and it just totally made sense,” Dylan says. “There was no question in my mind that I was going to participate with [Team BMC.]”

After completing the Boston Triathlon, five minutes faster than he anticipated, Dylan set his sights on deepening his commitment to BMC with even more Team BMC races—namely, the 2020 Boston Marathon. Despite feeling, “nervous, scared and excited,” seeing how far he’s come makes the 26.2-mile course worth it in his eyes. “I like to look back and see where I was three or four years ago and where I am now,” he says. “It’s nothing compared to that.”

Dylan also looks forward to continuing his support of Vision 2030, as it is also the fundraising focus for Team BMC in the Boston Marathon. The initiative very much aligns with Dylan’s own goals—similar to how he transformed his own health by working on his recovery and losing weight and getting in shape, Vision 2030 represents his desire for others to be their best selves. Supporting this cause feels like a “match made in heaven,” and is inspiring him to continue to participate with Team BMC well into the future.

As Dylan looks ahead to Marathon Monday, he will be drawing from his connection to Boston as a source of motivation and inspiration. “I’m such a Bostonian through and through,” he explains. “I’ve lived within 20 minutes of the city my entire life and I explicitly remember where I was in 2013 [when the marathon bombings happened] and how that all felt and so just to finally have a chance to participate in the event that is so culturally engrained in our city and to do it with such a great cause means so much to me personally.”

Come April, Dylan will be more than ready to head to Hopkinton. With a slew of races lined up in the next few months, Dylan finds it’s the best way to stay focused and enjoys the challenge each race provides. As for being the first one to cross the historic Boston Marathon finish line, Dylan’s not so concerned. “As long as every day is better than the last and every race is better than the last, I’ll be satisfied.”