November 7, 2018
For years, Sarah Lieneck ’14 dreamed of running in the Boston Marathon. Next spring, she will participate in this well-known race as a member of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team, with Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
“I wanted to find a cause that I believed in,” explained Lieneck, who has supported several family members through battles with cancer. “Dana-Farber is there with you every step of the way.” Because she has a personal connection with the organization, “I know that will help me run the 26.2 miles.”
After she graduated from MCLA with her Bachelor of Science Degree in biology, Lieneck went on to earn her associate’s degree to become a physical therapy assistant. Now, she is the director of rehabilitation at the nursing home where she works, Odd Fellows Home in Worcester, Mass.
A former member of the MCLA women’s soccer team, once she left the College, Lieneck quickly found that she needed something to fill that athletic void, and took up running. So far, she has participated in three half marathons and one marathon.
“Soccer at MCLA taught me more than I ever thought it would,” Lieneck said. Because she is small in size, “people always underestimated me.” At MCLA, she said, no soccer team position was too large for her.
Soccer was an important part of Lieneck’s MCLA experience. “I learned that I had to manage my time wisely between classes, studying, and soccer," Lieneck said.
"Besides all the classes and studying, being on the team gave me an entirely new network of friends; friends that became like a second family to me," she continued. "I know that I can look to my soccer teammates for full support – not just with the marathon, but with a majority of life’s decisions. If I had not played soccer I would not have met some of my best friends.”