BEVERLY — Know these two things about Paul Guanci: he likes to run, and he likes to help people.
Monday morning, he’ll be able to do both.
The 48-year-old Guanci will take part in the 117th Boston Marathon, the second time he has tackled the 26-2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston.
The City Council president in Beverly is one of 500 marathoners running to support the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. One hundred percent of all the funds raised, said Guanci, goes directly to innovative cancer research.
“Running is great because you’re only running against yourself,” he said.
The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Guanci first ran Boston in 2009 in memory of his good friend and former campaign manager, Kerry Xenos, who died of esophageal cancer in July 2007, as well as for a cousin who was undergoing treatment at Dana Farber (who is now cancer free). In doing so, he raised almost $11,000 for Dana Farber.
He’s hoping to at least meet, if not exceed that goal this time around; he’s already received nearly $8,500 in donations, and he’s hoping a fundraiser being held Friday night at the Italian Community Center in Beverly Friday night brings in even more for his cause.
“The customers here have been so generous,” said Guanci, the co-owner of Super Sub in the Garden City with his brother, John. “I’ve probably raised $4,000 from the tip jar on our counter alone.”
A lot of his donations have come in via Facebook; the generosity of people donating to him through the social networking site is a major boost on days where he’s had difficultly motivating himself to run. “That keeps you going,” he admitted. “You don’t want to let people down.”
He doesn’t have to think long about people to inspire him, either. Friends and former customers such as Diane Parisella, Alice Lombardi, Barbara St. Peter and Nancy Rice, in addition to Xenos, are always in his thoughts. So is someone who has been waging a war with non-Hodgkins lymphoma for almost two-and-a-half years — and winning: Beverly High head hockey coach Bob Gilligan.