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Runner Recaps - 2024

Stephanie Guyotte | Published on 5/5/2024

MVSers Share their Boston Marathon Moments


Jason Barbieri

Running the my first Boston Marathon this year was such a tremendous experience.  The crowds were crazy and there was nothing like turning onto Boylston and seeing Tom at the end.  Overall, I thought I ran a smart race given the heat. I ran the first half relatively smooth and then tapered down the pace on the back half due to the weather.  Despite having some dehydration post race, I felt great throughout the marathon and was excited to finish. I was fortunate to have the support of my MVS friends post race and grateful to MVS for the opportunity to run Boston.  It was definitely an accomplishment and experience that I will never forget!


Brigid Rodin

It was an amazing experience, so thank you, MVS.  I was way off from my target goals, thank you leg cramps at mile 16, but still had a blast! 


John Shaheen

My most memorable moments during my 2nd Boston Marathon were the surprises of seeing my youngest sister (Jennifer) and her friends at mile 13, my co-worker (Maria) at mile 23 and my wife (Christy) and my youngest son (Evan) and his friends at mile 16 and again at the Finish Line!

Also, when a woman working for the Boston Marathon put on my medal and gave me a hug as she congratulated me!


Ben Raphel

In December I found out through my company that I had received a charity bib to run this year’s Boston Marathon. I’d just run my first marathon in NYC and was ready for another challenge. I decided to raise money for The AFTD, an organization that raises awareness for the type of dementia that my mother-in-law passed away from. I’m proud that I ended up raising about $3,000 for this organization!


The training went well, and I was glad that I had a network of MVSers running Boston who I could run with and discuss progress. They say to prepare for anything for Boston, so I trained in snow, sleet, and rain throughout the winter, and rarely in temperatures about 50 degrees. Note to future Boston runners – take advantage of the many groups offering weekend runs on the course! I appreciated seeing what the start looked like as well as having a couple practices on Heartbreak Hill.


Of course, when we got to race day, it was nothing like I’d trained in for the past 3 months. 70 and sunny might have been ideal for spectators but it was tough for us runners. But the great weather meant the energy throughout the day was unbelievable, and the crowds were out in force from Hopkinton to the finish. I felt great during the mostly downhill first half of the race, but the heat started to get to me after Wellesley. In particular, the little hill going across I-95 in Newton was tougher than I expected. Getting through the Newton hills was more of a mental challenge than anything – we know we can climb those hills training around this area. Once I got up Heartbreak Hill, I had a burst of speed for about a mile, but then I hit a wall around mile 23.


After trudging through the last couple miles, even the slight uphill on Hereford and the long straightaway down Boylston was a challenge, but eventually I crossed the finish line, finished my first Boston, found Tom to celebrate, then went to meet my friends and family. Thanks to MVS for the bus to start and to everyone in the group for all the training tips and support along the way!


Sushil Motwani

Running a Marathon is extremely humbling. It does not matter how well you have trained, does not matter that you feel great at the start of the marathon. I am humbled, even though everyone says that I am a "good/great" runner. But, this marathon has taught me that I need to be even more humble.


First of all, I would like to give the biggest Thank You to Merrimack Valley Striders for the opportunity to run this World Major, by awarding me the bib to run this Marathon. Getting a bib is a privilege, and since I have received this privilege through MVS for Boston Marathon, I will not be re-applying for Boston Marathon again, as I feel that this experience should go to everyone who applies at some point, and I do not want to take up a spot for someone else in the future.


I am VERY HAPPY that I finished in 5 hours and 27 minutes (5:09 running time) after what I endured between miles 5 and 10. I pooped 💩 (thanks to one of the businesses who let me use their restroom/toilet), vomited 🤮 (at a medical tent) at Mile 10. I thought that I will need to QUIT; as more than 16 miles were remaining. But, "quitting" is not in my vocabulary, and once I left the medical tent, felt a little better, and then ran consistently, even though the heat and vomiting caused more cramping throughout. The scream tunnel at Wellesley College is an incredible experience, followed by the participants on Hereford, and Boylston St near the finish line. The cheering and shouting out your name throughout the course is so uplifting and there is no dull moment during the race.


I would like to thank my friends and family who came to cheer for me on the course: Pavitra Motwani, Abhijeet Joshi, Shardul Joshi, Manas Joshi, Debbie Sewade, Rohini Mehta, Suma Rao, Karen Albergo Girouard, Amy Abbott Breen, Silvana Morgan, Sujaa Raghunath, Vanessa Hope, Stephen Friree, Christiane Pepper, Amanda Marie Smith, Shane Smith, Karina Fuentes-Lucic, Archana Miramir, (Anne Downing at the finish line) and everyone else who there to cheer on all the runners. I missed meeting Tom and Lyn Licciardello but was happy to meet them at the party later.


Shilpa Joshi and I trained consistently at least twice a week together. She completed the race 28 minutes before I did, and I am very proud of her! Congratulations Shilpa Joshi for completing your first marathon, in under 5 hours!!! 


For everyone who trained with me during my training for 16 weeks - A HUGE Thank You!! Shilpa Joshi, Stacey Polechio, Debbie Sewade, Gabriel Kohen, Amy Abbott Breen, Christine Petersen, Richard Dumas, Vanessa Hope, Karina Fuentes-Lucic, Karen Albergo Girouard. If I missed any of you, please forgive me, but I sincerely Thank You for encouraging me.


My personal goal after finishing the Boston Marathon and Chicago Marathon last October; now is to run the remaining 4 World Majors in New York, Berlin, Tokyo, and London. The training, preparations, and sacrifices to run a marathon is a Marathon in itself, and I would rather put that training towards getting my 6-Star Finisher Medal.




Road Runners Club of America USATF - New England Mill Cities Relay