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Former Inmate Prepares for Boston Marathon

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    NEWSLETTERS

    When Keith Giroux was in prison, he became hooked on running and developed a dream of running in the Boston Marathon. Having served his time, that dream becomes a reality Monday.

    (Published Friday, April 14, 2017)

    A former inmate has turned his life around and is getting ready to run in the Boston Marathon Monday.

    "Life-changing, I guess you could say, certainly," explained Keith Giroux of Turners Falls, Massachusetts.

    Five years ago, Giroux was on a much different path.

    "Another probation violation for breaking and entering, assault and battery, vandalism," listed Giroux.

    He was serving a five-year sentence in a Tennessee prison when he went for a run in the yard. He became hooked, and like most runners, he got an idea.

    "How cool would it be to run Boston one day?" he pondered.

    It was just a silly dream, he thought — until he was extradited back to Massachusetts. He hopped on a treadmill, running daily.

    With support from prison staff, he ran the Boston Marathon last year — on that treadmill, in his prison clothes.

    "I think half the time, my mind was out here — the outside world," he said. "Thinking about all the things I wanted to work towards when I got out."

    Giroux was released in October. Three weeks later, he ran a marathon in Plymouth.

    His story caught the attention of a Hopkinton man, who helped him get closer to the Boston Marathon.

    "I reached out to him and said, 'What about this year?' He said, 'I didn't qualify,'" said Gary McNamee of Hopkinton. "I said, 'What about a charity?'"

    Keith raised more than $5,000 for the Hopkinton Center for the Arts, and Monday, he'll be toeing the starting line in Hopkinton.

    "It's overwhelming," said Giroux's brother, Mike Williams. "People are recognizing my brother is not a bad person. If you put your mind to something, and a goal, you can succeed."

    Now, Giroux is literally steps away from making that silly dream a reality.

    "Having this huge goal of running Boston is definitely been a grounding thing for me," he said. "I always know if I were to relapse into any of my old ways, all this could be gone so fast. I could wake up tomorrow in jail."

    Giroux hopes to run Monday's Boston Marathon in a time of less than three hours. He says he hopes to qualify for the New York City Marathon this fall.

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