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McNeill’s Boston Marathon run to benefit SEPAC

by | Apr 7, 2024 | Featured

Growing up with deaf parents and now a special education teacher, Megan McNeill is excited to be running the Boston Marathon on behalf of the Hopkinton Special Education Parent Advisory Council.

McNeill is hoping to raise a minimum of $8,000 to help special education students who may want to pursue higher education after graduation.

“It’s to help them move into the next step of their lives,” she said. “For students with disabilities, it can be difficult.”

The Reading resident received an undergraduate degree in deaf studies from Towson University and a master’s degree in special education from Merrimack College.

She is a teacher at the Children’s Center for Communication/Beverly School for the Deaf.

McNeill is following the Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) through social media and has been in contact with representatives of that group. She said she has seen the relationship between Beverly parents and the school where she works and is impressed by the similar setup in Hopkinton.

Although she has run a half-marathon in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, McNeill thinks the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon will be different.

For one thing, she is accustomed to running alone and it being quiet. Sometimes, she listens to podcasts and music.

In contrast, the Boston Marathon will have streets lined with massive cheering crowds along the route.

“I’m a little nervous about getting too excited” in that environment, McNeill shared. “There will be a big difference, but I’m so motivated and determined to cross the finish line.”

The Boston Marathon is special, she noted, because of the emotional feeling people get watching participants turn the last corner, witnessing all the support they receive.

It is also gratifying to watch runners helping each other, she added.

To train, McNeill is running four days per week, with one long run and three shorter ones. She said her interest in running began when she played soccer in school, along with hockey and softball.

To raise funds, a recent bowling event in Gloucester attracted about 80 friends and family members. Local businesses contributed gift cards, items and baskets (including one from the Boston Bruins) that were raffled at the fundraiser. Donations also are being accepted at a fundraising webpage (givengain.com/champion/megan-mcneill-932881).

She expressed gratitude to local businesses, friends and family members for helping her and anticipates having a lot of familiar faces cheering her on the sidelines.

“For a lot of them, it is a good reason to watch the marathon,” she said.

As for McNeill, running in the event has been a dream of hers, one she is eager to fulfill.

“With a push from my aunt, I’m going to see [my dream] through to the finish line,” McNeill said.

1 Comment

  1. Carol Sheehan

    Megan, this is so amazing. Good luck on Marathon Day. I’m usually out there volunteering or just cheering the crowd, but this year I’ll be recovering from ankle surgery, so I’ll be cheering from home. You got this!!!

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