“I’m obsessed with the marathon,” Katharine Brummett gushes. “I love it.” Brummett, a media arts teacher at Hopkinton Middle School for the past 11 years, will be running the Boston Marathon this year on behalf of the Hopkinton Music Association.
After attending art school, Brummett began running for exercise and later decided to run in the New Bedford Half Marathon, the first race she ever entered. “I immediately became addicted to long-distance running but also to doing races,” Brummett recalls, “because there’s just such a special feeling of camaraderie and group support when you do a race with other people who all have the same goal, but who are also all running their own race.”
With a few half-marathons under her belt, Brummett set her sights on a full marathon in Lowell “because it was flat,” she says with a laugh. Brummett completed the course and says it was “an amazing experience to do that and to know that I could do it. It’s really empowering.” Several years later, Brummett jumped at the opportunity to run her first Boston Marathon for Desire to Inspire, a Hopkinton Middle School program.
“It was always a goal for me to do Boston,” Brummett says, given that she has lived along the course in multiple towns and has been teaching in Hopkinton for more than a decade. “It was honestly one of the best days of my life … like a dream come true,” she says of completing the race in 2019.
This year, Brummett is thrilled to be running for the Hopkinton Music Association (HMA), a volunteer parent organization that supports music education in Hopkinton schools. Her daughter Celia has been part of the program for years. As a teacher, she also has seen “all the great things they do for the kids,” which includes funding scholarships, music lessons, equipment, guest speakers and more.
Celia, who will graduate from HHS this year as valedictorian, has been in the music program since fourth grade. Brummett says the experience has provided Celia with a community of people who have helped her build confidence and confront challenges — whether performing a trombone solo or preparing a graduation speech.
“A lot of the students I’ve noticed coming out of the Music Department have such diverse, varied interests,” Brummett says. “I would say, especially from the point of view of an art teacher, I think any art is going to make for a more well-rounded student with lots of depth, and I’ve seen a lot of kids have that.”
Being a media arts teacher is Brummett’s “dream job,” and she sees Hopkinton as a “really special town because the arts, in general, are so supported by the community. I don’t think every school district has the support that we do.” Brummett hopes to raise $5,000 for the HMA (her fundraising page can be found at tinyurl.com/27ds9mc5).
Just as students find confidence through the arts, Brummett says racing makes her feel “strong and powerful” and has increased her self-esteem. “I have found so much fulfillment in knowing that I can push myself through to accomplish really challenging goals that I set for myself,” she shares.
At her second Boston, Brummett hopes to finish in under four hours, and she expects that the cheering from the “unbelievable” spectators will help her get there. “I remember when I did Boston before,” Brummett recalls, “I was in the middle of Heartbreak Hill, and this woman on the sidelines locked eyes with me. I don’t know why she chose me, but she locked eyes with me and pointed at me and she’s like, ‘You can do this! You can do this!’ And I remember just being like, ‘Thank you! Yes, I think I can!’ ”