Currently viewing the tag: "Boston Marathon"

Today is April 20: Enrollment decisions (as well as decisions on whether to take a spot on the waitlist) are due by 11:59 p.m. EDT (UTC-4).

Today is also Patriots’ Day, a public holiday in Massachusetts, and the Admissions Office (as well as the rest of Tufts University) is closed.

Patriots’ Day means the Boston Marathon!  Thirteen Fletcher students are participating as members of the Tufts Marathon Team.  Cheer for Stephanie Brown, Tim Grant, Natalie Lam, Kelly Liu, Conner Maher, Tim Magner, Chris Maroshegyi, Alex Nisetich, Gustavo Perez Ara, Tim Roberts, Alex Taylor, Peter Varnum, and Mollie Zapata!  To join TMT, runners pledge to raise funds for nutrition and fitness programs.  If you’re also inclined to support programs of that type, it is still possible to support one or more of the runners!

The runners have been training hard, even during our epic winter.

Snow run
Fortunately, running became more comfortable as the weather improved.

Running, 2

Running

Marathon 20 miler (2)
Taking on marathon training on top of everything that Fletcher students do is a mammoth undertaking.  Good luck, Fletcher runners!

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At the end of the spring semester, Liam, one of our student bloggers, offered an end-of-year post.  I eagerly grabbed it, but I’ve held it until now because it reflects both Liam’s first year at Fletcher and also his suggestions for incoming students.  I’ll just note that Liam wrote his post when the Red Sox season was looking a little brighter than it is now!

Sitting here, finally having some time to reflect on the blur that is the spring semester, I’m at a loss to describe what an incredible experience my first year at Fletcher has been.  A few words come to mind — demanding, challenging, (extremely) busy — but what it really boils down to is one of the most remarkable and rewarding years I’ve had.  From making new friends, to learning an incredible amount about the world in which we live, to taking the time to really comprehend my life’s journey to this point, this year at Fletcher was incredible.  Taking all that into consideration, I thought about the experiences I’m glad I’ve had both in and out of school, and I wanted to share a few “musts” for students at Fletcher.

1.  Go to Fletcher events.  From culture nights, to the Blakeley Halloween party, to The Los Fletcheros concerts, to simple gatherings of friends on a Friday, some of the best times to be had at Fletcher are outside the classroom.  Taking the time to relax and get to know my classmates has been so incredibly rewarding.  Time goes by pretty fast here and it will be over before you know it, so enjoy it while you can.

2.  Go to the Boston Marathon.  I was blessed with the opportunity to run this year through the Tufts Marathon Team, but if running for four(-ish) hours is not your cup of tea, experiencing the event is still an absolute must.  Over a million fans lining the street for over 26 miles, coming together in support of the city and the runners, was just an indescribable thing to see.  The Boston Marathon is, in my eyes, the most egalitarian sporting event in the world and it is not to be missed.

3.  Go watch the Red Sox.  I might be a bit biased as a life-long Sox fan, but anyone who spends time in Boston should experience Fenway Park.  Especially after the Sox won the 2013 World Series, taking in an afternoon or evening at “America’s Favorite Ballpark” is a great distraction from school, and singing “Sweet Caroline” with 36,000 friends is pretty great, too.

4.  Get to know Boston.  Boston is so full of history and culture — it’s critical to get out and see it.  Running along the Esplanade on the Charles River, exploring the Freedom Trail, relaxing at Boston Common, going to concerts — there is so much to do year-round in the city, so putting down the books and getting out is something you just have to do.

5.  Get out of Boston.  New England offers a ton of things to do.  Whale watching off Cape Cod, skiing in Maine, hiking in New Hampshire, seeing the foliage in the fall, these are just a few of the awesome things this area of the country offers.  Taking a backpacking trip out in the Berkshires during spring break was probably the most relaxing thing I’ve done in the past year, and it was vital to helping me reset to finish the semester strong.

In summary, it’s been an incredible year — one I wouldn’t trade for the world — and I’m looking forward to a 2014-15 academic year that is just as incredible and memorable.

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It’s a rare Fletcher student who pursues only one out-of-class activity, and our student bloggers are no exception.  First-year MALD student, Liam, is training with the Tufts Marathon Team to run in Monday’s Boston Marathon.  As many readers know, this year’s Marathon will be different from the norm, coming one year after the tragic events of 2013, and giving many runners a sense of mission that goes beyond their personal best times.  Here’s Liam’s report.

Marathon training

One of the incredible opportunities available to Fletcher students is the chance to join the Tufts Marathon Team and train for and run the Boston Marathon.  Each year, the Tufts Marathon Team gets 100 bib numbers for students, faculty, staff, and alumni from throughout the Tufts community to run the race.  With participants ranging from first-time runners to seasoned veterans of multiple marathons, Coach Don Megerle does an amazing job training and selecting the team, and he provides unmatched motivation and advice to ensure that all runners finish.  The team supports two long runs each week, as well as a weekly speed workout, and in the winter the team takes part in five long runs that cover the entire Marathon course.  By participating in these runs, Fletcher students can meet other graduate students from throughout Tufts, as well as undergrads and some great alumni and staff, helping us make connections to those we may not otherwise meet, outside the walls of Ginn library.  All runners raise money towards nutrition, medical, and fitness programs at Tufts University, including research on childhood obesity at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.  Since the Team’s inception in 2003, runners have raised over $4 million.

This year, obviously, the Marathon takes on even more significance than it normally does in the fabric of Boston.  The tragic events of April 15, 2013 united the Boston community, and each runner on the Tufts team is strongly committed to the event.  The stories of a few of this year’s 13 Fletcher runners speak to how incredible this year’s race will be.  Second-year Fletcher student Alex Nisetich sums up his Marathon story as follows:

I’m a Boston native, and the Marathon has always been a part of my life here.  I decided to run after last year’s attack, as a demonstration of solidarity with the runners and with my home city.  My own family narrowly missed being caught in the attack, and in a different year we could all have been there at the finish line.  I’m running because it feels like the best way I can support my community and commemorate the events of last year.

Training has become an end in itself as well.  Getting out on the road, especially first thing in the morning, is a great way to overcome any fears you might have of a New England winter.  The Fletcher community and Tufts are both very supportive of the runners, which makes it a pleasure to train.  The team runs really build camaraderie and make it fun.

Another second-year MALD student, Stéfane Laroche, shares a similar tale:

I have always enjoyed running and flirted with the idea of running a marathon for many years, however I never had the courage and the motivation to train.  Last year’s events at the Marathon changed my perspective.  The devastation happened so close to home that it touched me, and I decided to run in order to support the Boston Strong campaign.  When life knocks you down, you’ve got to be strong, pick yourself up, and continue to live.  It’s an honor for me to run with all those other marathoners who will pay tribute to last year’s victims and who will make a statement against intolerance and misunderstandings that fuel hatred and anger around the world.

For me, personally, I had recently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan when the bombing happened.  Growing up in Central Massachusetts, the attack hit home.  Although I had always run in the past due to my job as an Army officer, I never contemplated running another marathon after an ill-advised and untrained undergrad endeavor in 2005.  Running the 2014 Boston Marathon became an obsession for me, a way to show the world that we would not let this attack change who we are.  I trained for months and ran a marathon in October in nearby Lowell and felt ready to take on the world come the Boston race in April.  Then I began dealing with lingering knee and hip injuries, so my training has taken on its own personal journey, as I’ve worked to find ways to balance recovery with running and the ever-demanding life as a Fletcher student.  For me, the process has been an incredible voyage of learning about myself, what I value, how hard I will work for it, and what it means to stand as one for a community.

Although every runner’s story is different, one commonality is certain — all 37,000 runners who make that 26.2 mile journey from Hopkinton to the finish line on Boylston Street on April 21 will do so with some pain in their legs and sweat on their foreheads, but most importantly, with pride in their hearts.  With tens of thousands of supporters cheering us along the course, we will show the world what being Boston Strong is about.  Being able to be a part of this has truly been one of the more remarkable aspects of my time thus far at Fletcher.

Fletcher runners

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Today is Patriot’s Day, a public holiday in only Massachusetts and Maine.  The Admissions Office is closed, as is the rest of Tufts University, so that the Tufts Marathon Team members don’t need to worry about classes.  (Well, maybe the University is closed because it’s a public holiday — not only because of the Marathon.)  In any event, send us your questions by email, and we will respond on Tuesday.

A current student, Ayako, graduated from Wellesley College, right on the Marathon course.  There’s a Wellesley tradition to cheer on the Marathoners, and Ayako’s successors have made this sign at her request, to support our team.

Fletcher runners

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In only four days, on Monday, April 15, Boston will host its famous annual marathon.  In addition to well-known long-distance runners, you’ll find the Tufts Marathon Team, which includes a Fletcher squad.  And one of the Fletcher runners is student blogger Scott Snyder.

Spring semester assignments are coming due and internship application season is in full gear, but I’ve also been concentrating on another yearlong goal — the Boston Marathon.

For the 10th year running (no pun intended) the Tufts Marathon Team (TMT), which consists of students, alumni and staff, will run to raise money for Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, mainly geared towards fighting child obesity.  I had heard about the opportunity to run the marathon before I started this year, but didn’t realize how much fun it would be to train under coach Donald Megerle and with the team.

I ran my first marathon last summer in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia and trained all over Asia — Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, and cities throughout China.  I didn’t think training in Boston, with a bunch of people who run at different speeds, would be as interesting and fun as that experience.  Turns out it has been even better and has given me an outlet outside of the classroom — like so many of the opportunities here at Fletcher.

During this training process I have spent my weekends running the actual course — from Hopkinton, through Wellesley and Newton, to downtown Boston — so I’ll start the race having run the whole route and knowing all those brutal hills.  I’ve run Heartbreak Hill about six times; if you don’t know the myth/story behind it, you can view it here.  Along with my training partner, fellow Fletcherite Morgan Lerette, I trained on the route twice with Greg Meyer, the 1983 Boston Marathon winner with a time of 2:09:00 and the last American to win it.  We got to hear plenty of stories about training in Boston during those two runs — luckily he’s a good storyteller.

Scott

Running is a passion of mine, and along with the TMT, Fletcher also has a running club, if you are not up for running 26.2 miles in April.  There are also numerous other clubs here that can fit with your own personal and professional interests.  All these clubs are student run and are always looking for new leaders to take them over.  They bring in renowned speakers, put on conferences, and most importantly, sponsor our weekly Social Hours (really, Happy Hours) to educate the student body on the issues of the day.

So, not matter how busy Fletcher will make you academically, you can always find time to put in hours working on something that may be different from whatever you are doing in the classroom.  Or, if you are a very studious individual, you can build on your academic interests through your clubs focus.

Scott’s photo above includes from left to right, second-year MALD student Mario, head of the Fletcher running club, Marathon-winner Greg Meyer, Scott, and running-partner Morgan.   Fletcher TMT runners, whose profiles can be found on the TMT page, are:  Natalie Bowlus; Oscar Camargo; Katherine Ferrari; Jacob Fromer; Amy Heading; Alex Kaz; Morgan Lerrette; Brennan Mullaney; Tomo Nagasaki; Maki Nakata; Jane Phelan; Davie Wallsh;  and Annie Wanlund.

The Boston Marathon is so important that it’s a public holiday!  Or maybe, Patriot’s Day was already a public holiday, and the Boston Marathon became a Patriot’s Day tradition.  Either way, Fletcher, like the rest of Tufts University, is closed today.  We’ll be back tomorrow, Tuesday.

 

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Participating in the Tufts Marathon Challenge is a great opportunity for students to train for and run in the Boston Marathon, one of the most prestigious such races worldwide.  This year, there’s a team of 15 Fletcher students joining the Tufts team.  They have to meet a fundraising goal as a requirement of their participation, and they have worked together (selling “King Cakes,” sponsoring an event at a nearby pub) and individually to meet the goal.

This week, three representatives of the Fletcher team went downtown to the Greek Consulate General in Boston for the ceremony of presenting traditional olive wreaths to the Boston Athletic Association, which will, in turn, present them to the Marathon winners on Monday.  Here’s Vanessa, who told me about the event, with the wreaths next to her:

And since no event would be complete without a Fletcher flag, here are runners Jon, Morgan, and Vanessa, with the Boston Athletic Association president.  To the left is another Fletcher student, Alexandros, who is the liaison between the team and the Greek Consulate.  (I’m obliged to note that the photo is from Alex Mavradis Photography.)

The marathoners have been training for months, balanced (of course) with Fletcher classes.  It’s a big task for experienced runners, and most years the Tufts team will include some relative novices.  The  runners tell their stories on their individual pages to which I’ve linked below.  So, without further ado.  Introducing the 2012 Fletcher runners in the Boston Marathon for the Tufts Marathon Challenge.  Go team!!

Rishikesh K. Bandary
Jocelyn Braddock

Sean Duggan
Rachel Fredman
Jonathan Hirsch
Kathleen Hurley
Kei Koga
Sooyeon Kang
Kosar Jahani
Maria Kingsley
Morgan Lerette
Lauren Liecau
Peter Park
Manny Peralta
Vanessa Vidal Castellanos

Monday is a public holiday but, more important, it’s the day when 25,000 runners will participate in the 115th annual Boston Marathon.  Known for its difficulty, the Marathon is a key cultural event in this area.

Among the 25,000 runners, you’ll find 200 participants in the Tufts University President’s Marathon Challenge.  And of those 200, 15 are Fletcher students!  While the runners have done the real work, the community has stepped up to do its part.  Each runner on the PMC team is required to raise $1,000 for selected charities, and Fletcher students ate pizza and drank beer at restaurant and pub-night fundraisers to boost the runners toward their fundraising targets.  (Quite effectively, too, since two Fletcher runners –Dahm and Jun — are leading the PMC lists for funds raised.)  And on Monday, fellow students will play another important role when they answer the team’s request:  “Because 26.2 miles will be less painful if we can see your shining faces that day, we’d love it if you would come out, grab a spot, and enjoy the day with us.”

So the Admissions Blog now presents the 2011 Fletcher Marathon Team, with each name linked to a PMC page for photos and training updates.  If you happen to find yourself along the race course on Monday, please cheer them on!

Suzanne Andrews
Shayne Arcilla
Sara Blankenship
Mieke Breck
Cara Chebuske
Dahm Choi
Jacqui Deelstra
Mary Dulatre
Eduardo Garcia
Emily Nohner
Annika Rigole
James Siegel
Marianne Smallwood
Nanako Tamaru
Jun Tazawa

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Monday is the Massachusetts Patriot’s Day holiday.  We’ll remember the early battles of the War for Independence and keep an eye on the results of the Boston Marathon.  There’s a nice group of Fletcher students who will run as members of the Tufts Marathon Challenge team.  Give a cheer for Dan Gallucci, Ken Hammond, Trevor McNeil, Elsa Palanza, Deirdre Roy, Jeffrey Smith, Dave Viola, and Roxane Wilber, all of whom have honed their running skills with help from marathon guru Coach Don Megerle, in exchange for raising $1000 for Tufts community outreach around nutrition and exercise.

Normal Admissions Office hours will prevail tomorrow (Friday) and Tuesday the 20th when, as it happens, admitted students who have been awarded a scholarship should submit their enrollment decision.  Any last questions?  Make sure you ask tomorrow or Tuesday morning, at the latest.

By Wednesday, we’ll have a good, but still incomplete, picture of the entering class, with the remaining enrollment decisions due May 1.

Also due May 1 are the responses from applicants offered a place on the waitlist.

To those waitlisted candidates who are anxiously monitoring the enrollment process, we haven’t forgotten you!  We’re going to need to track enrollment for a while longer, but at the same time, we’ll be figuring out who has remained on the waitlist.  We’ll also review the additional materials that many of you have sent in.  I’ll post updates at fairly regular intervals to let you  know where things stand.

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I haven’t had a chance to chat with Han Kim since he ran the Boston Marathon on Monday, but he told me by email that he was feeling good, if a bit worn out from the hills on the course.  In a burst of school pride, he pulled a Fletcher flag out of his pack when he reached the end of the race.  The photo is included in the Tufts web story about the Marathon, and was the front page of the Tufts site this week.  Here he is:

Congratulations, Han!

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