TB12 Spotlight: Will DiTullio
Will DiTullio grew up in Stoneham, Massachusetts playing every sport he could — baseball, basketball, soccer, track and field, he played them all. But when he arrived at Merrimack College for his freshman year, he knew his competitive sports days were behind him. That left him searching for a way to satisfy his competitive spirit — enter running.
He began running to stay in shape since he was no longer playing sports every season, but that quickly turned into running in races to get his competitive juices flowing again. 5Ks turned into 10Ks, 10Ks turned into even longer runs, all bring him back to a challenge he had always wanted to pursue.
“I was always setting goals, and when someone told me I couldn’t do something, I’d make it my mission to do it.”
During this time, he began dating his now-wife Julie while she was interning with the Boston Athletic Association.
“Each year, she would get me finish-line passes to the Boston Marathon, and I will sit in the stands marveling at each runner that would pass by. I thought to myself that I would love to run Boston one day. Each year, I would tell myself, ‘I will do it next year.’ Next year would come, and I would continue to delay it.”
That all changed in March 2009.
One day while sitting on his couch, Will received a call from his father, Bill, that his mother, Beverly, had collapsed. Thirty minutes later, his father told him that his mother had died unexpectedly at the age of 55 due to complications caused by her Type I diabetes.
“My mom was full of life, and she is my inspiration. When she passed, I thought to myself, ‘I can use this tragic experience to do good and to motivate myself or I could go down the wrong path.’”
He chose to let it motivate him and to finally take action toward his goal of running the Boston Marathon.
“I pledged to myself that I would no longer put off the things I dreamed of because you never knew what your future would hold. I was going to set goals, and find a way to do them — no matter what.”
“I can use this tragic experience to do good and to motivate myself.”
Julie knew of his dream to run the Boston Marathon, so in 2012, she brought home a surprise invitational bib. That year he ran his first Boston Marathon and hasn’t looked back since. Now, the 2019 Boston Marathon will be his seventh Boston Marathon in eight years. He ran in 2013 and 2014 with invitational bibs and in 2016, 2017, and 2018 for the Bill Belichick Foundation.
“The Boston Marathon is part of me now. Giving back to the community is important to me as I have been very fortunate in my life and I want to pay that good fortune forward.”
This year, Will’s goal is to finish the race in less than 4 hours, and he believes that TB12 can help push him over the top.
“Pliability, hydration, nutrition, and a positive mindset are all critical to success for long distance runners and all things I’ve tried to incorporate into my everyday life.”
But running a sub-4 hour marathon isn’t his only goal. He hopes to give back and continue the values his mother instilled in him from a young age.
“Running for the TB12 Foundation is a once and a lifetime experience — one where I can help support a cause I care about. When I was younger, there wasn’t a focus on the food we put into our bodies, the amount of sleep we got each night, and the importance of staying hydrated. I want to make sure that the young athletes of today have the chance to realize their full athletic potential. And I also want to set a good example for my sons and give back whenever I can — just like my mother did.”