Vasili Kariolis Represented Team PH at the 128th Boston Marathon

May 14,2024

Our friend Vasili grew up in the town of Hurley, which is nestled in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. As a young boy he loved all kinds of sports, and participated in many of them with his brother. Early on he developed a love for running and joined the track and cross country teams in high school and earned a college scholarship!

As an adult, Vasili enjoys the competition and health benefits that come with running. He has competed in 14 marathons over the years and has completed the Boston Marathon seven times! The last two times he ran Boston he represented Team PHenomenal Hope.

Vasili found out about Team PH through his work. He is the Vice President of Finance at Aerovate Therapeutics. Vasili has learned a great deal about pulmonary hypertension and has met several people living with this disease through his work at Aerovate as well as his participation in his company’s annual 5K for Team PH in Boston.

It was while participating in the inaugural 5K that Vasili met a young college student who lives with PH. This young man was also participating in the event. It struck Vasili that this young man did not take his breathing for granted and is mindful of it as he walks and runs. In contrast, Vasili realized that he does take his breathing for granted. Certainly, his breathing becomes more labored as he runs, but it’s not something that he worries or really thinks about. Since then as Vasili runs, especially as he represents Team PH, he is mindful of his breathing and of PH patients and what they experience.

As Vasili prepared for this year’s Boston Marathon, he was shooting for a time of two hours and 30 minutes or less. Preparing for the run that early in the season can be kind of hit or miss. The weather can be challenging in the months before and during the race. In the days leading up to the marathon, Vasili felt prepared and able to hit his goal. As he and a friend headed toward the site of the athlete village, Vasili could tell by the smell in the air that it was going to be a warm day. The city was buzzing with excitement!

They headed for the coral and by 10 a.m. the start gun sounded. Vasili ran with two friends who had trained with him on the New Balance team. They started off at a pace that would have them at the finish line before 2 hours and 30 minutes passed. The first five or six miles felt effortless. He saw his wife and sons at mile 13 and stopped by for a quick hug. By the 16th mile Vasili started to feel the effects of the heat. He got a side stitch that he couldn’t shake and pulled back a little on his pace. Later his IT band began bothering him. By the 23rd mile he was so happy to see his coach and felt encouraged as he faced the last 3 miles of the race. Vasili finished with a time of three hours and five minutes! Although he didn’t hit his personal record, he finished with an excellent time.

Thankful to have been able to represent, Vasili was excited to raise awareness and funds for Team PH. When he joined the Let Me Be Your Lungs program, he committed to raising at least $10,000. He has surpassed his fundraising goal by raising more than $12,000! We are grateful for all that Vasili does at Aerovate and with Team PH to fight PH.

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