A Providence orthopedic surgeon prepares to run the Boston Marathon

A Providence orthopedic surgeon prepares to run the Boston Marathon.

A local orthopedic surgeon prepares to run the Boston Marathon.

Dr. Aristides Cruz is popular among the younger set at University Orthopedics in Providence.

That's because he fixes the broken bones of pediatric patients and makes them feel better.

"After a long day at work I go off on my run and it's my time to be alone with my thoughts," said Dr. Cruz.

Running is something he has been doing since high school. He was on the cross country team at Tufts University in Boston.

"And I just remember my senior year, one of my friends, Justin and I were talking about running life after college."

And that's when he thought why not try and qualify for the Boston Marathon.

"It's very special. It's probably one of the most well-known marathons in the world."

He qualified after running the New York City Marathon back in 2002. And now 15 years later, he is gearing up for his seventh Boston Marathon.

For others who will be taking on this grueling run, he says there are ways to minimize injuries.

"In my opinion running shoes are critical," said Dr. Cruz.

"Some people need more stability. Some people need less padding, some people need more padding."

Staying hydrated is also important. And it's important to note the more common injuries.

"Those are overuse injuries,” said Dr. Cruz. “You're not going to get your broken bones typically, or your acute broken bones running but you might get your stress fractures."

To help prevent these:

"You just have to be aware of how much pounding your body can take," he said.

And while stretching before your run is important, Dr. Cruz say it's even more important to stretch after the race.

"Because that's when you get the benefits of stretching."

Dr. Cruz will be one of more than 32 thousand people who will be running in the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday, April 17th.

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