By Spencer D. West


With sixteen years of living in South Florida under his belt, pop star Danny Wood, of New Kids On The Block, is hardly the new guy in town.  The pavement around Miami has certainly become more accustomed to Danny’ footfalls in the past several months and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon.  Danny Wood is training for his first Boston Marathon, where he hopes to raise as much money as possible to provide the always-needed support for breast cancer survivors and their families through the charitable organization he founded after his mother, Betty, died of breast cancer in 1999.  Today that charity is known internationally as Remember Betty, and 140 teams of Danny’s fans in 20 different countries have all worked to raise over 1.2 million dollars for Remember Betty through walking and running in events.

Danny isn’t a stranger to running, besides running the Miami Marathon in 2006, Danny’s running consisted mainly of running on the treadmill both at home and while on the road.  That all changed when Danny walked into iRun, a local running store in Midtown Miami, to help a friend get fitted for new running shoes.  Danny recognized one of the owners, Hector Arana, from his daughter’s dance class, and started talking to him about his own running.  Hector suggested that he come to one of their weekly run clubs and from that moment on, he was hooked.  At first, many of the runners showed no sign of knowing that they were running side by side with an international pop star, but even when word started to spread, the other runners, who Danny now calls friends, didn’t treat him any differently.  In fact, like runners do best, many of the runners, including leader of the group and co-owner of iRun, Cobi Morales, offered whatever assistance they could to make sure he adequately trained for Boston.  This help included coaching, group speed-work and company and pacing for his long runs.  Although this might sound like VIP treatment, the reality is that most runners just know this as group training and would assist any runner needing direction and assistance with training for such a big event.

Miami has a large contingency of runners participating in the Boston Marathon, and Danny is proud that he is one of them, since he is a native of Boston and especially after the events of last year.  Joining him in running the race will be his sister, who is a breast cancer survivor.  In addition to the training he has put in, Danny has also entered a good amount of races since December, having completed three half marathons this year alone.  Heading into his taper, Danny is ready to run Boston, but has no plans to stop running after crossing that famous yellow and blue finishing line.  In fact, he plans to pick up right where he left off, just reducing the miles mostly on his long runs.

To find out more about Danny’s charitable efforts or follow his progress in raising funds for Remember Betty, you can visit https://www.fundraise.com/dannywood for more information.

If you have any ideas for future articles or people of subjects of interest, please contact me via Facebook or e-mail me at spencerrunner@gmail.com.