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JP resident dives in the Aquarium’s Giant Ocean Tank for a living; now he’s coach of its Boston Marathon team

Chris Bauernfeind
Chris Bauernfeind
Patriot’s Day is Chris Bauernfeind’s favorite day of the year. And, he’ll be celebrating - as he has for the last 10 years - by running in the Boston Marathon.

This year is different, however, with the meaning and magnitude of the day. “There is an obvious urge to prove that I won’t back down,” said Bauernfeind who finished the 26.2 mile marathon last year before the bombings.

Bauernfeind is running on April 21 with the 25-member New England Aquarium team and is also serving as its coach. The experience takes on even more meaning for him because Bauernfeind, 43, and his wife, Emily, both work for the Aquarium. He is a senior aquarist and diver in the Giant Ocean Tank, feeding and tending to more than 2,000 marine animals that live in the newly renovated tank. Emily works in the marketing and communications department.

The Marathon team is raising money to support the Aquarium’s outreach program which brings tide pools and aquatic animals to 45,000 children a year in schools, day cares, community centers, YMCAs, Boys and Girls clubs, and various other programs around Greater Boston. Each member is raising $5,000. The Aquarium is an official charity in the 118th Boston Marathon. To sponsor Bauernfeind, click on the link: https://secure2.convio.net/neaq/site/Donation2?idb=0&3280.donation=landing&df_id=3280

“I have a strong connection to our oceans and environment,” he said. “So this run really is all for the kids. They are our future. It’s so very important to educate them about what lives below the surface of the ocean as well as the fragile environment above the surface. Education leads to change, and we need some of that in the world right now.”

For Bauernfield, training in this cold and snowy winter is not a deterrent. “It’s all about owning the correct clothing,” said the eight-year Jamaica Plain resident who grew up in Maryland. “I never train indoors.  Also, I use weather forecasts to determine my weekly running schedule. If I can’t avoid running on snow, I know where Boston Parks plows and run there – such as Jamaica Pond even if you have to do numerous loops.  Lastly, I take pride in running in extreme conditions. Therefore, I love it! On the other extreme, the highest temp I’ve ever run in is 132 degrees in Palm Desert, California.”

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