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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.


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Mark Nickerson

Hometown: Framingham

Marathon Team: Team Framingham

Is this your first marathon? No, but I don’t know how many I have run

What is your personal best marathon time?  4 hours and 15 minutes

Is this your first Boston Marathon?   No, this is my 8th Boston Marathon

Did you participate in the 2020 virtual marathon? I did not.

Why run Boston? I will never hoist the Stanley Cup in victory, win the Super Bowl, or hit the game-winning home run in Game 7 of the World Series But, I can line up and run the same course against the world’s fastest and most decorated athletes.  And while I know that I will not
win, the opportunity to compete on this stage is too amazing to pass up!

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Which charity are you raising money for?  Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Why did you pick that charity?  Choosing Spaulding Rehabilitation Network was easy because of the experience my family had there through the early stages of my father-in-law’s recovery from brain surgery. Since then Spaulding has helped countless more individuals through some of the most difficult times of their lives and I am proud to be doing a very small part in helping provide support to teach clinicians and help make patients better.

Link to your charity fundraising page:

How did you first get into running? I first got into running after high school when I didn’t have a football game to play on Thanksgiving morning so I signed up for the Framingham Turkey Trot.  Later, after retiring from playing football in college, I started running around
the streets and trails of Ithaca, NY and really started to enjoy it. And then in 2002 my father-in-law challenged me to run the Hartford Marathon with him and I have been running since that.

Why do you like to run? I like to run because it gives me time to process the world and sometimes it forces me to push myself physically and after a good run I feel invigorated and sharp mentally.

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Tell me something about your training for the marathon: This year I decided that I would coach myself leveraging years of running experience and some intuition to make sure that I get enough miles in each week.  To accomplish this I have run in Maine, New Hampshire,
Nevada, Utah, Cleveland, and Florida!

How has the pandemic changed your running habits? During the pandemic, I started running every day. I have run at least 1 mile every day since December 1, 2020 which was exactly 300 days ago today! (12/1/2020 – 9/28/2021)

What is your favorite cross-training activity? It’s a tie between swimming and biking.

Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why? I mostly train alone as I work my runs into a busy schedule.  Sometimes I run at 5 a.m. and sometimes I am running at 11 p.m. to get the work in.

Are you an early morning runner or evening runner? I am an opportunistic runner, getting runs in whenever I can morning, noon, and night.

How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run? Having a race on the calendar is the best motivator for me although this year I have been trying to keep that running streak alive.

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Music or no music when running? If music, favorite song? Sometimes. Recently I discovered listening to audiobooks while running which really helps take the tedium out of running every day especially long runs!  And sometimes I don’t listen to anything but my thoughts while

What is your favorite pre-running meal? Pizza

What is your favorite post-run snack? Chocolate Milk and a Coke. (I know it sounds strange!)

Tell SOURCE readers something about you that has nothing to do with running:  I love to coach!  Currently, I am coaching hockey for both my daughter and twin sons but in the spring I will be out on the lacrosse field with Framingham Youth Lacrosse!

What shoes will you wear on Marathon day? TBD either Brooks or Asics

What is your goal for the 2021 Boston Marathon?  Have a great time and make it to Boston.  It will be a long day but I will make it fun!

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Photos courtesy

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.