Boston Marathon Runner Profile: Mike Bower Dedicating Run To Mercandetti and Bograd

Editor’s Note: Framingham Source is profiling runners participating in the 2018 Boston Marathon. If you would like to be profiled, email before April 10. 
Mike Bower

Hometown: Randolph  (Framingham for the past 26 years)

Team Framingham Member: No. I am a member of the Team Framingham Steering Committee and have served as the organizer for the 7 training runs the team has had since December.

Is this your first marathon? This will be my 23rd marathon.

Is this your first Boston Marathon?  This will be my 13th Boston Marathon since my first one on April 17th 2000. I have also run the Bay State Marathon in Lowell 9 times and the Cape Cod Marathon once. I will be running the Chicago Marathon this coming October.

Why run Boston? I have been privileged to be able to run the Boston Marathon so many times as a charity runner through my employer John Hancock, the Boston Marathon sponsor for more than a quarter century. I love the Boston Marathon for the crowds that turn out on Marathon Monday to help inspire the runners to get to the finish line. Millions of them lining the course and cheering you on. I always get chills when running the course thinking about all of the runners, elites, mid packers, and the rest of us who have traversed this historic course over the years since 1897.

Which charity are you raising money for? Why? I am fundraising for the Boys and Girls Club and the Ron Burton Training Village. These two charities are the John Hancock team charities. The late Patriot’s player Ron Burton worked for John Hancock following his illustrious career. Ron’s son Paul Burton is a resident of Framingham and he covers the pre-marathon training and Marathon Monday as part of the WBZ TV 4 news team.

To donate to Mike, click here.

How did you first get into running?  I first started to run in November 1999 to prepare for the April 2000 Boston Marathon. I had run the 800 for one season in junior high (a long time ago) and never ran after that.

Why do you like to run? I started running in November 1999 to prepare for the 2000 Boston Marathon after being coaxed by two John Hancock colleagues and runners to run with them. I have found running to be a great passion for me, having run hundreds and hundreds of road races since then. I have gotten some of my greatest inspirations for project work at John Hancock or for my many community service endeavors here in Framingham while running. And of course, it has been great for my health, allowing me to eat (which is another passion) and yet retain my weight and my physical endurance and condition


What is your goal for the 2018 Boston Marathon? I have long since given up the time goal of cracking the 4-hour mark which I came close to doing in 2011 at the Bay State Marathon (4:02). My goals now are to finish, to raise a lot of funds for my charity, and to enjoy the camaraderie of training with the GFRC and Team Framingham runners. My best Boston time is 4:19. I think a realistic time goal for this year is to finish in 4:35 or under. Father Time and Mother Nature are impacting this goal though!

Tell me something about your training for the marathon: I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to train with the great people on Team Framingham and the GFRC. We have had dozens of people show up for each of our 7 team long runs since early December. Running with great people makes the run go so much better. Our final long run will be 21 miles on March 24th when 5000 runners from all the many charities will be out there running.

How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run? That’s a tough question. I guess what motivates me the most is knowing that Marathon Monday will come very fast and slacking will not help me get to the finish line. Having a team to run with makes it a lot easier. And when you are the team training coordinator for Team Framingham, I want to “lead by example” for our team runners, so that motivates me as well.

What is your favorite pre-running meal?  I will have two bowls of Cheerios, an English muffin, a banana, some macaroni, a couple of boiled eggs, OJ and coffee around 5:00 a.m. on the morning of the marathon. We need to eat hardy as the marathon for us charity runners starts at 11:15 and we probably won’t have another meal until 6 or 7 p.m. that day!!


What shoes will you wear on Marathon day? New Balance all the way. Made in America. I have never worn anything other than New Balance since I first started running in 1999. With their factory outlet just down the road in Brighton and the numerous half price and 40% discounts they offer multiple times per year, I stock up on the NB brand regularly at a great price.

Will you wear anything personal or symbolic the day of the 2018 Boston Marathon? I will be wearing my Boston College running shirt. As a proud alumnus of the Class of 1980, I look forward to getting to BC each year. For my four years at BC, I would watch the runners come by and say to myself “one day I will do that.” Well, it took 20 years but that “one day” did indeed arrive.

I am dedicating my run this year in memory of Stephanie Mercandetti and Barry Bograd.

Stephanie served with distinction on the Framingham Planning Board for 5 years before her passing in January. She was a mainstay volunteer at the starting line of the Boston Marathon for 15 years.

Barry Bodrad served Framingham as Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission for many years. Barry was a huge supporter of Team Framingham, hosting an annual cable TV show for 4 years running dedicated to the Team Framingham program.

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: Phone: 508-315-7176

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