“When Ashley was a captain the next year, she would always link Alex into her inspirational speeches. Over the years we have found time to be emotional and really express that love we have for each other.”
Miliotis’ influence continued to inspire McLaughlin during her record-setting basketball career at Andover, scoring 1,150 career points, and her four-year year as a prominent player for Division 1 Holy Cross. She also maintained a close relationship with Alex’s Team.
“Ashley is so dedicated and has been a big part of Alex’s team,” said Arianna, who now works for the Boston Public Schools. “Ashley has always been so dedicated, and I think her running the Marathon is the quintessential example of her dedication to her goals, her friends and her family.”
For McLaughlin, it was a way to remember Miliotis and fulfill a lifelong dream.
“I felt it would be a great way to keep her memory alive,” said McLaughlin, now a teacher at Waltham High. “I have always wanted to run the Boston Marathon, and to do it for Alex makes it all worthwhile. It’s important to remember her struggles and keep her spirit alive.
“I have played sports all of my life. Since my college career ended, that competitive fire, that working towards a goal has been missing. Running the Marathon has always been something I wanted to do, and I thought that would be a great accomplishment.”
McLaughlin set her sights on training, building to a 20-mile training run in Hopkinton two weeks ago. She will run the race with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“I’m getting a little bit nervous,” she said. “I think it’s going to be pretty emotional. I think it’s going to go by very fast. To run such a long distance, and have my family, friends and Arianna there at the end will be awesome.”