Share, email, print, bookmark SOURCE reports.

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.


[broadstreet zone=”59984″]

Brendan Manzella

Hometown: Framingham

Marathon Team: Team Framingham

Is this your first marathon? I ran the virtual marathon last year so this will be my first time running the Boston course

What is your personal best marathon time? My virtual time was 3:40:20

Is this your first Boston Marathon?  On the course. Yes

Did you participate in the 2020 virtual marathon? If yes, what was your experience like?
Yes. I ran the virtual marathon last year and I had a great experience. I had a water stop at my house that friends and family took on. Truthfully, I was humbled to run my first marathon in my hometown.

Why run Boston? The better question is why not? This marathon is so iconic in the sport of running. Growing up a couple miles from the route and always going to watch and cheer, I always envisioned myself on the other side. Better than the rich history this race entails, is the outlet it provides for runners to raise millions of dollars for various charities. It’s a huge win for everybody.

[broadstreet zone=”56696″]

Which charity are you raising money for? I am raising money for United Way’s Call2Talk.

Why did you pick that charity? I chose this charity because in 2017 I lost a close friend to suicide. Mental health and depression are real life issues that people face and battle every day. Everyone fights demons at some point in their life and nobody is alone. People need support and United Way’s Call2Talk is that outlet to teenagers battling depression and mental health issues reassuring them they are not alone in their fight.

Link to your charity fundraising page:

How did you first get into running? I got into running not too long ago. I would sporadically go for runs and sign up for 5K races here and there but truthfully just recently started in 2019.

Why do you like to run? I enjoy the fitness aspect and the escape it provides from everyday life. My mind and body feel refreshed and energized after a run.

Tell me something about your training for the marathon: Training has certainly had its challenges. I had Achilles pain when I first started but quickly realized it was my shoes. Other than the weather my training has gone smooth.

How has the pandemic changed your running habits: While working from home, the pandemic allowed me to run early in the morning. The silver lining to the pandemic for me was realizing the true value of time.

[broadstreet zone=”70107″]

Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why? I like to train alone. When it comes to running, I like to get lost in the sights, smells, and my music wherever I am at. Don’t take it to heart though, I’ll gladly grab a drink with you after and shoot the breeze.

Are you an early morning runner or evening runner? I do most of my weekly training runs in the evening and run in the morning on the weekends, but I honestly prefer the morning runs because the run isn’t lingering in your brain all day. It’s a great way to start your day, get the blood flowing and release some endorphins.

What is your favorite cross-training activity: My favorite cross training activity is playing hockey: ice, dek or roller as it all depends on the weather. I grew up playing the game at a young age, so hockey provides me with exercise and makes me feel like a kid again.

How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run? I always know that someone
out there is working/training harder than me. I’m very competitive so there are not many days where I am slacking off. While somedays are worse than others, once you get into a rhythm it becomes like clockwork.

[broadstreet zone=”59947″]

Music or no music when Running? Music, no debate!

If music, favorite song? Oh gosh. So many genres. So many songs. Favorite song right now is 1-800-273-8255 by Logic. It fits the mission of this run.

What is your favorite pre-running meal? Half an avocado on toast, banana, and a glass of OJ.

What is your favorite post-run snack? Anything without a DO NOT EAT label is fair game. All joking aside, after my morning long runs, I like to chow down on bacon, eggs and hash browns.

Tell SOURCE readers something about you that has nothing to do with running: I share a birthday with my American Yellow Labrador, Mayflower.

What shoes will you wear on Marathon day? Rollerblades? I wish. I will be wearing New Balance Fresh Foam Roav.

What is your goal for the 2020 Boston Marathon?  To finish in under 4 hours.

Will you wear anything personal or symbolic the day of the 2020 Boston Marathon? I will be writing the initials CJL on my shoes in memory of a beloved classmate, teammate, and close friend Christopher James Loughran as I know he will power me through when I hit some turmoil.

[broadstreet zone=”59948″]


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.