Team Friends Preserves Parks for the Long Run

Deborah Howe and Lina Hristova are running the Boston Marathon to support the Friends of the Public Garden.

Deborah Howe and Lina Hristova are running the Boston Marathon to support the Friends of the Public Garden.

The Boston Marathon, a city staple for 118 years, is quickly approaching.

The event showcases the strength and determination of the local and global community, joining together to support the participants—amongst whom are the two women running this year in support of the Friends of the Public Garden.

Deborah Howe and Lina Hristova are the two members of Team Friends running in the 2015 marathon. Team Friends is raising money to support the work that the Friends of the Public Garden does in partnership with City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department to care for the Boston Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall.

Howe, a landscape architect and member of the Friends’ horticulture committee, is finally achieving a childhood dream by running in her first Boston Marathon this year. She has been passionate about running since she began running during grade school at a local track in Providence, R.I. Howe kept up her hobby all through high school and college. At 25 years old, she sustained an injury that kept her from running for 29 years. She tried several times to pick up running again, but kept struggling with her injury, eventually deciding that she could no longer be a runner.

Just last year, Howe was convinced to try to pick up her beloved pastime again. Starting out slow, she found that she was able to run long distance as long as she measured her speed and was mindful of her injury. Along with the joy of running again came the reawakened dream of running in the Boston Marathon. After decades of obstacles, Howe will pursuing her dream of running in this year’s Marathon.

Hristova is a project manager for a software company and operates a diversified forest products business—beekeeping and growing mushrooms—in her spare time. She has been running for years; competing in three marathons leading up to her first Boston Marathon this year. Hristova has been training with Deb for months, letting the brutal winter fuel her desire to complete the Marathon in the warm spring weather. She finds motivation in dreaming of the energized crowds, and visualizing the beautiful parks that she’s helping to protect waiting for her just a short distance beyond the finish line.

Both Howe and Hristova feel passionate about the mission of the Friends to protect and enhance the 1,700 trees, famous sculptures, and the  turf in the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. If you would like to help them support these iconic greenspaces, which serve as neighborhood parks for thousands, visit or e-mail [email protected] for more information.

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