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04/14/07 6:03 PM ET

Sox wives running for worthy causes

Shonda Schilling, Dawn Timlin taking part in Boston Marathon

BOSTON -- Shonda Schilling was always an athlete, she said, but she became a serious distance runner just recently. Diagnosed six years ago with melanoma, she made marathons a central part of her recovery.

"Running my first marathon," said Schilling, the wife of Red Sox pitcher Curt, "was really about taking my life back and not being afraid to be outside, and showing people who've been diagnosed with skin cancer and all that you can still have a normal life."

Monday's Boston Marathon will require bravery of a different sort. The irony of Schilling's decision to compete, she joked, is that she might be wishing for a little sun.

Forecasts for Monday morning call for strong winds, several inches of rain and, possibly, even snow in the Boston area. But Schilling and Dawn Timlin, the wife of Red Sox reliever Mike, plan to run anyway. There's too much good that can come from it.

Schilling will run to raise funds for The SHADE Foundation of America, which she founded almost five years ago after her recovery from melanoma and which focuses on the education and prevention of sun-related disease.

Timlin will represent the Angel Fund, which supports research on ALS at the Cecil B. Day Laboratory for Neuromuscular Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. ALS, the disease that killed Yankees legend Lou Gehrig almost 66 years ago, still has no cure.

"Whether you're running and you're feeling yucky or the rain's hitting you, which I'll think about a lot, I'm going to be there," Timlin said. "I'm able to do it. I'm able to be out there. So it's an easy day for me."

Schilling and Timlin, far from first-timers, testified on Saturday about the role that running plays in their lives. Monday's run will be Schilling's third and Timlin's fourth.

"I think we both enjoy it," Schilling said. "It's a release. You know, some people play tennis, some people shop. She trains hard, and I just train. But we have a great time together."

Friends, she added, "are so excited about this. And they look forward to it. It shows people that if I can do it, anybody can do it."

Husbands Curt and Mike, who are 40 and 41, respectively, and certainly within a few years of retirement, will be on the field on Monday morning if weather permits. Yet Shonda and Dawn don't see marathons in their husbands' athletic futures.

"They might ride the bike next to us," Dawn Timlin joked.

Echoed Shonda, "My husband has no desire to ever run."

Lucky that someone's pulling the weight. But Schilling and Timlin will be carrying more than that through the rain.

Alex McPhillips is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.