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Ted Williams' daughter signs up for Boston Marathon

By Jimmy Golen, Associated Press, 3/31/2003

BOSTON -- The Kid's kid is coming to town to run in the Boston Marathon and help out the Red Sox Hall of Famer's favorite charity.

Ted Williams' daughter Claudia will run in the April 21 race to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which had close ties to her father.

"I heard my father talk about the Jimmy Fund my whole life," Claudia Williams said in a statement. "I remember visiting the Jimmy Fund Clinic with him and seeing how sensitive he was with the kids and the impact his visit had on them. I want to give something to the cause that my father felt so strongly about."

The Boston Marathon and the Red Sox have been linked through the years because the baseball team traditionally plays at home on race day, a state holiday, starting the game at 11 a.m. so fans filing out of Fenway Park can watch the lead runners go through Kenmore Square.

The two Boston fixtures are also linked through Dana-Farber.

Claudia Williams will participate in the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge, a program in which runners agree to raise at least $2,000 in pledges for charity. In 13 years, more than $16 million has been raised for the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Basic Cancer Research, which was established by Jacksonville Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver and his wife, Delores Barr Weaver.

The Jimmy Fund, another Dana-Farber charity, has been the primary beneficiary of Red Sox philanthropy since 1953. Ted Williams was a frequent visitor to the children's wards, and he continued to support the efforts to cure cancer there until his death last summer. (And after: The money paid for admission to his Fenway memorial service went to the Jimmy Fund.)

Claudia Williams said she took up running to deal with the grief of her father's death. Although runners who participate for charity needn't meet a qualifying time, she ran the Tybee Marathon in Georgia in 3 hours, 38 minutes, 26 seconds in February; the qualifying time for a 31-year-old woman is 3:40.

"In my own way, I would like to say goodbye to my dad in a city that knew and loved him the most," she said.

Claudia Williams sided with her brother, John Henry, in his effort to have their father cryogenically frozen in the hopes that science will someday be able to bring him back to life. Another sibling, Bobby-Jo Farrell, wanted to have the baseball great cremated, according to his will.

Eric Abel, a family friend who serves as the contact person for Claudia Williams, did not return a call seeking comment.

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