Boston Marathon Runner Profile: Mike Bower

Editor’s Note: SOURCE is profiling runners participating in the 2019 Boston Marathon, with ties to Framingham, Ashland, and Natick.


Mike Bower

Hometown: Randolph (Framingham MA for the past 27 years)

Marathon Team: I am running the Boston Marathon this year as a member of Team John Hancock. I have worked for John Hancock for 22 plus years and I have had the pleasure of running Boston as part of their charity team many times since 2000.

Is this your first marathon? This will be my 24th marathon.

Is this your first Boston Marathon?   This will be my 14th Boston Marathon since my first one on April 17, 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? The Boston Marathon is the premier marathon in the United States and across the globe. It is “the marathon” every runner dreams of participating in. 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. Hundreds of thousands of them lining the course and cheering you on. I always get chills when running the course thinking about all the runners who have traversed this historic course over the years since 1897.

Which charity are you raising money for? I am fundraising for the Boys and Girls Club of Boston and the Ron Burton Training Village.

Why did you pick that charity? The two charities I am running for are the John Hancock team charities. The late Patriot’s player Ron Burton worked for John Hancock following his illustrious pro football 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.

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 until November 1999.

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 Boston with them. I have found running to be a great passion for me, having run hundreds and hundreds of road races since then. Running has been great for my health, allowing me to eat (which is another passion) and yet retain my weight and my physical endurance and conditioning.

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 Team John Hancock and all the folks from the Greater Framingham Running Club. We have had dozens of people show up for each of our 7 team long runs since December 1st. Running with great people makes the run go so much better. Our final long run will be a 21 miler on March 23rd when 3000 runners from all the many charities will be out there running from Hopkinton to BC.

What is your favorite cross-training activity: I mainly hit the roads and run to prepare for the marathon. When the weather is bad I sometimes use the stationery bike.

How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run? I guess what motivates me the most is knowing that Marathon Monday will come very fast and slacking during training will not help me get to the finish line that day. Having a team to run with makes it a lot easier.

And when you are one of the team training coordinator for Team Framingham, I want to “lead by example” for our team runners, so that motivates me as well.

Music or no music when Running? If music, favorite song? I never have worn a headset or listened to music while running. I like to be able to hear all that is going on around me particularly on when running on roads or trails.

The best way to avoid an incident with a bike, or a rollerblader or a car is to know they are there.

Pre-marathon I like to blast These are Days by Natalie Merchant or some of the Rocky songs.

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 heartily as the marathon for us charity runners starts at 11:15 and we probably won’t have another meal until 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. that day!!

What shoes will you wear on Marathon day? New Balance all the way. 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 50% discounts they offer multiple times per year, I stock up on the NB brand regularly at a great price.

What is your goal for the 2019 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 and running with the Team Framingham, Team GFRC and Team John Hancock runners. Father Time and Mother Nature are impacting my ability to set any time goal for this year’s run with any accuracy!

Will you wear anything personal or symbolic the day of the 2019 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.


Photos submitted to SOURCE

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

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

Leave a Reply