COURTESY AND CARL RUSSO PHOTOS: Really since I was 14,” said the 41-year-old Lisa Cordima, a resident of North Andover. “I ran four years of cross country at Andover (High) and also did indoor track.”

And Cordima hasn’t stopped since, turning her attention to road races, including three half-marathons, the most recent being in December. But running a marathon, much less the Boston Marathon, had never been her ultimate goal.

“I never thought I’d do the Boston Marathon,” said Cordima. “It seemed too intimidating.”

But Cordima is registered for this year’s Boston, running for the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for autism.

“I had a friend run the Boston Marathon and that got me thinking about it,” said Cordima. “Then my son (Nathan) was diagnosed last year with autism and I decided it was the right thing to do. I’m up for a challenge and this was it.”

After making that determination, it was only natural that Cordima joined the Flutie Foundation team for autism. As with other charity teams, that means she’s committed to raise $10,000 for the cause.

.“I’ve connected with a lot of other moms who have children with autism and that has just been awesome, learning from them and sharing our feelings,”

With that kind of enthusiasm, it was a no-brainer for Cordima that she would still run Boston when it was postponed until September 14. After all, that will just mean more time for fund raising and more great experiences while training with the team. 3/16/2020


Bradford’s Judy DeLeon is no stranger to running marathons, and she’s quite familiar with the Boston Marathon.

The 37-year-old Bradford resident has been running since 2009 and has run 11 marathons since her first one in 2013, when she ran the Boston Marathon as a member of the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation team running in support of autism. With two autistic children, it was a natural, and she also ran Boston in 2014 and 2015.

Before the marathon was called off because of the coronavirus, DeLeon was registered to run her fourth Boston Marathon in April, and this would have been different as well as more meaningful than the others.

DeLeon would have been running with more motivation and more of a personal connection. She was running in memory of her son, Nathan, who was autistic and killed last year as a 12-year-old when he was riding his bike and a car crashed into him.

Of course, not being able to run this year’s Boston Marathon in April is a disappointment, but just training for it and raising money for autism has been a godsend for DeLeon, and she says she’ll “absolutely” run it in September. Through her running, which she will continue no matter what, memories of Nathan will remain as vivid as possible.

“Even though the race was postponed, I’m glad I was able to raise money for the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation and children with autism will benefit,” said DeLeon. “And I’ll definitely run in September. 3/16/2020