Boston Marathon Runner Profile: Jeff Beling Running For Hoops and Homework

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. 
Jeff Beling

Hometown: Framingham


Team Framingham Member: Yes


Is this your first marathon? If not how many? I have run 5 marathons previously.


Is this your first Boston Marathon? This is my first Boston Marathon.


Why run Boston? I grew up about a half mile from the course, right around the 8 kilometer mark.  Even before I was a runner, we always went out to watch the marathon, and I’ve watched the marathon on the course probably 21 times. I love how it is one of the premier running events in the world, and it goes through my hometown.  Once I became a runner in high school, it became a goal of mine to run Boston.


Which charity are you raising money for? Why? I am raising money for Hoops and Homework, a Framingham charity that provides snacks, enrichment, and homework help after school. As an English teacher at Keefe Tech, I know how much a program like Hoops and Homework can help the students excel once they get to high school.  Everyone that I have worked with through the charity has been amazing, and their impact on the community cannot be overstated.  



How did you first get into running? I started running as a freshman on the cross country team at Framingham High School in 2005.  I was the slowest member of the team. It took a few more years to really get a hang of the sport, but I credit Ed Crowley (who works at McAuliffe now) with hooking me on running while he was my coach during high school.  I started seeing improvements in my times, and I really enjoyed the culture of the whole sport.  I went on to run cross country and track and field at Connecticut College.


Why do you like to run? I always feel better in some capacity after a run: if it’s an easy shakeout I feel refreshed; if it’s a harder workout I feel accomplished and satisfyingly tired. Not every day feels great, but knowing that you’re working towards a bigger goal, and stacking mileage and workouts towards that goal, makes me feel good.  Also, I have met and made most of my friends through running, including my fiance, who beat me in a cross country race when we were freshmen in high school.  


What is your goal for the 2018 Boston Marathon? It can be tough to assign a time goal to a spring marathon that starts so late in the day because the heat is a huge factor; I’d be happy with a 3:20ish race, but mostly I’m looking to enjoy myself, have fun out there, soak up the incredible atmosphere, and think about the support that I have had through this training cycle via donations and otherwise.  I’ll also be looking to use the race as a build up towards the Sugarloaf Marathon in Maine 5 weeks later. 

Tell me something about your training for the marathon: I’ve been running between 55-65 miles most weeks for the past 12 weeks or so, and I’ve been fortunate enough to get out on the course quite a bit, mostly in the Newton hills. I’ve run two 20 mile long runs and two 21 mile long runs so far, and I have plans for one more 20 miler on the 25th. I raced a few indoor track races this winter.


How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run? My least favorite running weather is 40 degrees and raining and it can be tough to get out during the winter. Typically, to motivate myself on days when I don’t want to run, I like to remember my personal mantra, which is: “It’s not if, it’s when”. Although it’s cheesy, it helps remind me of my purpose.  I will also vary the routes I run, go with people from my running club, and listen to music while I get ready to get out the door. 


What is your favorite pre-running meal? The night before a race I like to eat pizza, but if I could I would eat pizza every night. I try not to stray too far from my high carbohydrate diet, so I eat a lot of pasta and rice and beans on a daily basis. The morning of a marathon I typically will eat a Clif bar, a packet of oatmeal, 3/4 of a cup of yogurt, and a few graham crackers. 


What shoes will you wear on Marathon day? I will probably wear a pair of Saucony Ride 10s. 


Will you wear anything personal or symbolic the day of the 2018 Boston Marathon? I will wear my Forest Hills Runners running club singlet, since they provide me with so much support on a daily training basis. I probably won’t wear anything symbolic, but I’ll probably have my name on my arm so people can shout at me when it gets dark out there.  

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

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

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