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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.


Lisa Burgess


Marathon Team: Team Framingham

Is this your first marathon? (if no, what number will Boston 2021 be?) Boston 2021 will be my 5th marathon. My first was Chicago 2017, then in 2019 I ran my first Boston and New York. In 2020, I was training for both Berlin and Boston. Plans were altered because of COVID, but I still ran Boston virtually (and PRd!).

What is your personal best marathon time?  Boston 2021 (virtual) 4:12:11.

Is this your first Boston Marathon?   (if no, what number will Boston 2021 be?) 3 (2019 live, 2020 virtual, 2021 live)

Did you participate in the 2020 virtual marathon? If yes, what was your experience like? Yes. It was amazing! I actually really loved running virtually because it wasn’t crowded and my kids met me for support at various points along the route and it was super easy to spot them because there were so few people on the route. And I got to run with a fellow GFRC member (Melissa Arnold) for the first 20 so the miles flew by. Also I got a big PR!

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Why run Boston? I lived in Framingham all of my life. I grew up admiring those who could run the Boston Marathon. I watched it every single year! I always thought one day I would do it if given the chance and I have been fortunate enough to have three chances! Team Framingham gives me the opportunity to run Boston AND the opportunity to do some amazing fundraising for some amazing Framingham based charities!

Which charity are you raising money for? The charity I have chosen for the 2021 Boston Marathon is Call2Talk, a United Way program that helps youth in crisis by providing suicide crisis prevention resources such as a 24/7 text line.

Why did you pick that charity?  This charity is so important to me on a personal level since we lost my ex-husband and father to my four kids in 2016 to suicide and my girls have struggled with their own mental health.

Click here to donate to Burgess’ chosen charity.

How did you first get into running? My kids! I started running little 5Ks with my 4 kids. My 2 boys became highly competitive distance runners (Ben runs for UMass Amherst and Sam is a 2x All American and runs for Framingham High). I always looked forward to the traditional races we would run as a family such as Finish at the 50, The Turkey Trot, the BAA races and Falmouth Road Race to name a few.

Why do you like to run? I like to challenge myself and push myself beyond my comfort zone. Also, it is my alone time. As a mother raising 4 extremely active kids and having a demanding job in healthcare finance, there is no time to do anything for me. Training and running marathons is my time for me and nobody else.

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Tell me something about your training for the marathon: I have essentially been training for running a marathon for 2 and a half years (since November 2018). I ran Boston and NY in 2019 and never stopped my training. I was training for 2 marathons when COVID struck. I was planning to run Boston in April 2020 and Berlin in September 2020. Boston was pushed to September too, so for a period of time I was planning to run 2 marathons in September 2020 and then Berlin was cancelled and Boston went virtual. I kept up with my training because I knew that someday I
would have a marathon to run again. Again, I was looking at running Boston and Berlin within 2 weeks of each other with Berlin on 9/26 and Boston on 10/11. Berlin was just deferred to 2022 so now my singular focus is training and fundraising for Boston 2021!

How has the pandemic changed your running habits? Not much except that since I am not traveling as much as I was for my job, I have more time for running so my mileage is the highest it has ever been. One of the brightest spots in the pandemic has been being able to run with my daughter, Abby. Abby runs for fun as she is a competitive soccer player. During the pandemic she ran her first half marathon virtually. In the 4th quarter of 2020, Abby and I signed up for the BAA running challenge and we ran a virtual 5K, 10K and half. Abby was inspirational to me and helped me to achieve a half marathon PR (sub 2 hours!!).

What is your favorite cross-training activity? Usually boxing.

Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why? I do a lot of my training solo, but I really enjoy the Team Framingham long runs. Again, as a sole parent, I don’t get a huge amount of interaction with other adults outside of work. Training runs gives me a much needed opportunity to socialize!

Are you an early morning runner or evening runner? Usually early AM, but sometimes I double and do some miles in the afternoon as

How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run? I tell myself how much better I will feel after my run!!!

Music or no music when running? If music, favorite song? I do like to run to music. I have a pretty varied taste in songs, but some of the staples are Rocky music (esp. training montage), Elton John, Eminem, Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift, Phil Collins, Styx and Green Day.

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What is your favorite pre-running meal? Usually banana and peanut butter or toast. I don’t like to eat too heavy before a run.

What is your favorite post-run snack? Whatever I can find quickly!

Tell SOURCE readers something about you that has nothing to do with running:  We love the letter “M”. We have 3 pets and they are Mayson (cat), Meeka (dog) and Max (guinea pig)!! And the youngest Burgess is Maddie. She is 13 and training for her first half marathon!

What shoes will you wear on Marathon day? Saucony Endorphins!

What is your goal for the 2021 Boston Marathon?   I am shooting for a 9:45 pace which would be 4:15.

Will you wear anything personal or symbolic the day of the 2021 Boston Marathon? Why? I am not sure yet.

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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.