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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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Dan Napierski

Hometown: Framingham

Marathon Team: MetroWest YMCA

Is this your first marathon? YES!

Why run Boston? I’ve been interested in running the Boston Marathon for years.  It’s such a famous and historic event that I thought it would be fun to be a part of it.  I’ve gone with friends and family to watch in-person many times and the atmosphere is always amazing.  Now I get to be a runner and participate first-hand.

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Which charity are you raising money for? MetroWest YMCA.

Why did you pick that charity?  The MetroWest YMCA is important to me because of all the programs they have for children.  Kids can learn to swim safely at the Y.  They have programs for dance, gymnastics, basketball, and lots of other healthy activities for kids.  Families can get free meals through their Grab `N Go meals programs.  The MetroWest YMCA supports healthy living in Ashland, Framingham, Hopkinton, Holliston, Natick, Sudbury, and Wayland.  Funds raised for the Y will have an immediate positive impact on the community!

Link to your charity fundraising page:

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How did you first get into running? In high school, I ran track and cross country.  Even though I didn’t really pursue running as I got older, I have many great memories of running on those teams.  

Why do you like to run?  I enjoy that it’s something I can do that doesn’t require a lot of planning or equipment and I can just get outside and explore.  

Tell me something about your training for the marathon: I started really training for the Boston Marathon on July 3rd of this year when I joined my MetroWest YMCA and Marathon Coalition teammates on a nine-mile run.  It was the first long-distance run I had done in years.  Since then I’ve been following a training schedule that had me extend my Saturday long-runs each week.

How has the pandemic changed your running habits? The closures really kick-started my running.  At first, when everything was closed, I started going outside more.  I was mostly just walking around outside, breathing fresh air.  My wandering then turned into jogging.

What is your favorite cross-training activity? I like to swim and play basketball.

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Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why? I run mostly by myself, but on the long runs it’s been great to be part of a team.  Meeting other runners and seeing so many dedicated people train on the course, especially the hills in Newton, has really helped me complete my runs.

Are you an early morning runner or evening runner? Aside from the team runs on Saturday mornings, I’ve mostly run later in the day.  Training over the summer has meant high heat, but also there is more daylight and more time to run.

How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?  I’ve never run a marathon before and I know I need to train if I’m going to complete it.

Music or no music when running? If music, favorite song?  I don’t like to wear any devices when I run, so I don’t have music.  Running through the streets of Framingham and Boston can also be challenging, so I like to keep my ears open.

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What is your favorite pre-running meal?  Banana.  Egg sandwich.

What is your favorite post-run snack?  Tacos.  An IPA.

Tell SOURCE readers something about you that has nothing to do with running:  I’ve been a volunteer youth coach for years, first for Framingham United Soccer Club and then for Framingham Youth Basketball.  When the Mayor of Framingham fenced off the skatepark and removed the rims from all the outdoor basketball courts, I publicly objected.  I even filed a FOIA request to see what documents supported these public health measures.  No documents were returned.  Now all this time later, the CDC says that childhood obesity has skyrocketed.  For those that want to ensure we always have a safe venue for children to take part in healthy physical activity, I really encourage you to support the MetroWest YMCA.  

What shoes will you wear on Marathon day? ASICS.

What is your goal for the 2021 Boston Marathon?  Finish in relative comfort.  It’s a big challenge.  It’s a long way to run.  My goal is that my training will have prepared me and I’ll be able to complete the course.

Will you wear anything personal or symbolic the day of the 2021 Boston Marathon? Why?  Yes, I’ll be wearing my MetroWest YMCA jersey!

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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.