TB12 Spotlight: Richard DeCapua

When Richard DeCapua approaches the starting line, he has one thing in mind — winning.

“At the beginning of every race, when everyone is about to take off, I like to pick people out and say to myself, ‘I’m going to beat you.’”

He isn’t the biggest, fastest, or strongest out there, but the mentality he carries into his training and races would tell you otherwise.

“I’m a very competitive person. I want to win in everything!”

That mentality wasn’t something he was just born with, though. He was coached up from a young age.

“My father passed away from cancer when I was a child, so I grew up in a single parent household.”

That parent was his mother, who helped instill in him the mindset he carries forward today.

“My mom was someone who didn’t have an easy life, but she never let that show. She always pushed me to do my best and that fueled that drive I have. Now I’m just focused on living that out however I can.”

During his time in college, his mother also died from cancer — but that drive and mindset she instilled in him lived on.

He looked for something to feed into that drive during his time at Quinnipiac University. That something he found was running.

“During the summer between my junior and senior years, I just started running and quickly got addicted to it. I love to run in the cold especially because I love the mental preparation of it — the extra layers you have to wear and the time it takes to make sure you’re ready — that’s where that mindset comes in.”

Shortly after his time at Quinnipiac University, while in graduate school at Boston College, he ran his first marathon. From that moment, there was no turning back. The 2019 Boston Marathon will be the fifth Boston Marathon he has run and his ninth marathon overall.

“When you’re out there and your three or four miles in and you hit your stride, you start to lose yourself in the run.” He regularly runs with a laminated card full of things his mother used to say to him. “Stuff like — ‘I know it’s hard, but I know you can do it.’”

“I ran for the inaugural Bill Belichick Foundation Boston Marathon team, which was a great experience, so I knew I wanted to be a part of a small team so that I can get to know the team personally. Even with a small team, you can have a big impact.”

A big impact, he hopes, his running can have for the next generation of athletes.

“Both of my daughters are athletes, and I want young athletes like them to be able to have access to everything that the TB12 Foundation can provide. TB12 isn’t just about being good at one thing, but how can you be excellent in everything you do.”

But that’s just part of it — and so is having a winning mindset. Winning isn’t the only thing that matters about a winning mindset. It, often times, means something much greater.

“Once it’s all done, can I look back and say I did everything I could for this whole endeavor? And if not — then, I have to work harder, and that just motivates me more.”

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