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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 2022 Boston marathon to be held in April this year. If you would like to submit a profile contact


Mike Bower

Hometown: Framingham for the past 30 years.

Marathon Team: Team Framingham 2022

Is this your first marathon? No. This will be my 26th marathon overall. My first marathon was the Boston Marathon in April 2000. This will be my final marathon, however. After 22 years of running, including 26 full marathons, I have decided to focus on 5K’s, 10K’s and ½ marathons and my favorite running event each year, the Reach the Beach 200-mile team relay race.

What is your personal best marathon time?   Bay State Marathon, Lowell MA, October 2011 – 4:02 (4 hours, 2 minutes). My best Boston Marathon time was 4:19 which I did twice, in 2003 and 2006.

Is this your first Boston Marathon?  No. This will be my 16th Boston Marathon.

Why run Boston?  The Boston Marathon is the premier marathon in the United States and across the globe. It is “the marathon” every runner dreams of participating in. I love the Boston Marathon for the crowds that turn out on Marathon Monday to help inspire the runners to get to the finish line. Hundreds of thousands of them lining the course and cheering you on. I always get chills when running the course thinking about all the runners who have traversed this historic course over the years since 1897.

Which charity are you raising money for?  Framingham FORCE (Fostering Opioid Recovery, Compassion & Education)

Why did you pick that charity?   I am a very good friend of the founder of Framingham FORCE, Cathy Miles. I served with her husband David Miles on the School Committee for five years. Cathy and Dave are longtime Boston Marathon volunteers supporting the runners at the finish line. Framingham FORCE is a Framingham based organization that works every day “focused on increasing awareness, prevention and compassion surrounding the opioid epidemic”.  I believe in the mission of Framingham FORCE which is to “be a FORCE in the Framingham community to combat our opioid epidemic thorough compassion,
education, and advocacy.”    The vision of Framingham FORCE is “a community free of stigma and opioid use disorder, where all those who need help will seek and receive compassionate care.” 

Link to your charity fundraising page:

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How did you first get into running? I first started to run in November 1999 to prepare for the April 2000 Boston Marathon. I had run the 800-meter distance for one season in junior high (a long time ago) and never ran after that until November 1999.

Why do you like to run?  I started running in November 1999 to prepare for the 2000 Boston Marathon after being recruited by two John Hancock colleagues and runners to run Boston with them. I have found running to be a great passion for me, having run hundreds and hundreds of road races since then. Running has been great for my health, allowing me to eat (which is another passion) whatever
I want and yet retain my weight and my physical endurance and conditioning.

Tell me something about your training for the marathon:  I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to train with the great people on Team Framingham and all my friends from the Greater Framingham Running Club (GFRC). We have had dozens of people show up for each of our 4 team long runs since December 18th. Running with great people makes the run go so much better. We still have 7 more team training runs to go before the big day on April 18.

How has the pandemic changed your running habits? Not much has changed for me. Most of my runs are solo runs except for weekly GFRC runs on Tuesday night with 5 to 10 runners and the bi-weekly Team Framingham training runs. The Tuesday night runs restarted in May 2021 after a 14-month suspension due to COVID. Team Framingham training runs went off without a hitch for the October 2021 and now the April 2022 Boston Marathon.

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What is your favorite cross-training activity? I really do not have one currently.

How does the snow and the cold impact your training? I have no problem with running in the cold weather. I have been out there on training runs with temperatures in the teens and the wind chills hovering around 0 degrees. The snow is a greater challenge. I run through light snow but take a day or two off when there is more than a foot of snow on the ground. I prefer to train in the summer rather than the winter, however.

Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why? I thoroughly enjoy our team training runs and other group runs. I enjoy the opportunity to share my passion for running with others and to enjoy the camaraderie of the group runs. Half or more of my weekly runs are solo and I use those runs to enjoy the scenery along the route and the serenity of the solo run. My favorite running event each year is the 200 mile Reach the Beach team relay. I will be participating in this great relay race for the 12th time this September.

Are you an early morning runner or evening runner? I prefer afternoon or evening for my running. Our Team Framingham team training runs are morning runs, however.

How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?  I think of my next road race or marathon and that usually does the trick!! During marathon training I have mileage goals for the overall program and the only way to reach those goals is to keep up with certain weekly mileage. I find that this motivates me to get out there. Having a team to run with makes it a lot easier. And when you are one of the team training coordinators for Team Framingham, I want to “lead by example” for our team runners, so that motivates me as well.

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Music or no music when running? If music, favorite song? No music. I like to hear what is going on around me.

What is your favorite pre-running meal?  On Marathon Monday morning I will have 2 bowls of Cheerios, a banana, a bagel, coffee, and orange juice.

What is your favorite post-run snack? Lots of potato chips!! Then a steak dinner.

Tell SOURCE readers something about you that has nothing to do with running:  I have always enjoyed my community service work. I served on the Randolph School Committee from 1982 to 1991. In 2008 I was elected to the Framingham School Committee where I served for 5 years. In 2013 I was elected to the Framingham Board of Selectmen where I served for 3 years. It was during my time on the Board of Selectmen that the Team Framingham program was launched in the fall of 2013. I have been involved in a leadership role with Team Framingham for the past 9 years.

What shoes will you wear on Marathon day?  One of several New Balance brands. I run only with New Balance and have done so for my 22 years of running.

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What is your goal for the 2022 Boston Marathon?   This is my 26th and final marathon so my goal is to have fun out there, to savor the crowds, appreciate the route and enjoy every minute I am out there on the course for what will be my final marathon. And of course, my primary goal is to finish!!

Will you wear anything personal or symbolic the day of the 2022 Boston Marathon? Why? I always wear my Boston College running shirt on Marathon Monday. I graduated in May 1980 from BC and enjoy the loud cheering from the students along Commonwealth Avenue on Marathon Monday when they see my BC shirt!! During my four years at BC, I would watch the runners come by and say to myself “one day I will do that”. Well, it took 20 years but that “one day” did indeed arrive. And 15 more times after that first one!!


Photos submitted by Bower to SOURCE

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.