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Editor’s Note: SOURCE invited runners from Team Framingham and a couple of other Framingham-based charity teams to participate in a series of Q&As about their training for the 2021 Boston marathon to be held in October this year, due to the pandemic. If you would like to submit a profile contact Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, October 11.


Alex Mitchell


Marathon Team: Team Framingham

Is this your first marathon? (if no, what number will Boston 2021 be?): Assuming I make it to the start line, this will be my first marathon!

Did you participate in the 2020 virtual marathon? If yes, what was your experience like? I did not participate in the virtual marathon–I wanted to save my first marathon experience for the real thing.

Why run Boston? I have always wanted to run Boston. I love the atmosphere of achievement, celebration, and support. It is thrilling to take part in a global event in your own backyard. As a spectator, I’ve always hoped for the opportunity to be on the other side of the rope.

Which charity are you raising money for? Call2Talk.

Why did you pick that charity?  I lost a close friend to suicide when I was in college, so mental health is an issue that is very close to me. I value what Call2Talk does. I teach English at Framingham High School, and it is important to me that I choose a charity that provides services for my students and their peers. I want them to have somewhere to go for help outside of school, and I am so glad that Call2Talk is so good at what they do.

Link to your charity fundraising page:

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How did you first get into running? I started running for fun and sports training in middle and high school. I have a lot of runners in my family, so it was in our culture.

Why do you like to run? I like to run because of the benefits–everything is easier when you are in good cardio shape! I also enjoy having time alone to do something challenging, improve, and take a mental break from other stressors.

Tell me something about your training for the marathon: I am running four times per week (with the longest run on Saturdays) and I am lifting weights three days per week. Hydration is a challenge (especially in this heat!)

How has the pandemic changed your running habits? Without access to a gym for much of the past 16 months, I ran more than I normally would. I feel a lot better at the beginning of this training cycle because of it. I feel like more of a “runnernow.

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What is your favorite cross-training activity? I love the barbell. I lift weights and do kettlebell work for cross-training. I can see myself not running one day, but I can’t see myself not lifting weights.

Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why? I prefer to do shorter runs alone so I can enjoy some time listening to music or a podcast. I also like to work on my pace and mileage goals, and I get up really early to run, so that poses some challenges in finding suitable partners. For the weekly long runs, though, I much prefer to run with others for the camaraderie and to break up the monotony. I love the long runs with Team Framingham.

Are you an early morning runner or evening runner? If I can, I much prefer to run early in the morning! During the school year, I can’t wake up as early as a morning run requires without compromising my sleep.

How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run? I stay motivated by trusting the program. I know if I skip a run, that will come back to bite me when I go for a more challenging run, and it could even result in injury. That’s enough motivation for me. I also love training in all fitness pursuits, so the discipline comes easy. It sure has been hot recently, though..,

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Music or no music when running? If music, favorite song? Music or a podcast, unless I’m with running partners. Then it’s conversation! If I had to choose one song that can get me through a tough sprint, Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones seems to do it. I usually listen to hip hop, though.

What is your favorite pre-running meal? Overnight oats with raisins, chia seeds, and cinnamon.

What is your favorite post-run snack? Banana and a protein shake.

Tell SOURCE readers something about you that has nothing to do with running: I can wiggle my ears.

What shoes will you wear on Marathon day? Altra Provision 5. I am a big fan of this shoe, and they aren’t even paying me to say that!

What is your goal for the 2021 Boston Marathon? I just want to finish without injury and with a good experience behind me. I’ll leave the time goals to the elite runners.

Will you wear anything personal or symbolic the day of the 2021 Boston Marathon? Why? I will rep Team Framingham! By the time the race comes around, I will have been training with Team Framingham for almost two years, and I’m lucky for that. I am excited to outwardly represent Framingham during the race

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.