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Brown returns for another ‘grueling’ challenge in Boston Marathon

by | Apr 10, 2024 | Featured

Nick Brown

Nick Brown, shown with his family at the Town Common, is looking forward to his second Boston Marathon, having learned what to expect following his debut last year.

Nick Brown is back for a second straight year running the Boston Marathon, and the Hopkinton resident is hopeful that his experience from a year ago will make the day even better the second time around.

“I don’t know if it is going to be any easier physically, but the mental side of it will be a little bit easier to bear,” Brown said. “I am comfortable with what is coming in terms of the physical aspect of it. It’s just a matter of showing up.”

Brown admits to being a little bit “nervous and anxious” when gearing up to run the 26.2 miles from East Main Street in Hopkinton to Boylston Street in Boston. But this year, he has an expectation of where he is going to stop for water or food and what to expect from the challenging course.

He also has the benefit, once again, of running for a charity that has a direct impact on his family and his community. Brown ran for the Hopkinton Public Library Foundation last year. This year, he will be lacing up his running shoes for Hopkinton Girls Youth Lacrosse.

“My oldest daughter, Kaleigh, plays lacrosse here in town. I knew they were looking for a runner, and I reached out proactively,” Brown said. “I got a call early this year and, in the back of my mind, it didn’t take very long to say, ‘Of course, yes.’’

Some of the other nonprofits in the area can struggle with awareness, Brown said, but many families have a child or multiple children who play lacrosse. It was a similar situation last year with the library.

“Everybody I know uses the library,” Brown said. “With both of these organizations, you are directly impacted, you know the people using those organizations one way or another. It’s nice being able to have it be tangible like that.”

Brown stuck to a strict training regimen last year. He had run a number of half-marathons, but he needed to get used to doubling up the mileage by the time race day rolled around.

“The training weather last year was really accommodating. We had pretty mild mornings and a relatively mild winter overall, so you could train and get the long runs in,” Brown said. “This year it’s different. It’s colder. I have pushed my morning schedule back to get runs in mid-morning instead of first thing in the morning.”

As the 2023 marathon approached, Brown said it felt daunting as he frequently checked the weather reports and calculated whether he might be out on the course when rain started rolling through. But he did have the benefit of starting the race in his hometown and having the privilege of avoiding the elements before the start by relaxing in one of the middle school gyms.

The weather ended up being good for running.

“It was in the mid-to-high 40s, and you could start off in shorts and a T-shirt and know you were going to warm up fast,” Brown said. “It was a fun day.”

It’s anyone’s guess what the weather will be this time around, but Brown is feeling more confident as he prepares to take on the challenge for a second time, with Kaleigh, his son, Will, and wife, Alison, in his corner.

“It’s still grueling,” he said. “But it’s less of a mental block, and I feel more comfortable knowing what I am going to be facing.”


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