We are so proud to introduce our 2023 Boston Marathon club bib recipients. This year we’re able to send 8 Striders to the marathon with our club bibs, which MVS is awarded through the club’s volunteer efforts for the race.
Get to know your 2023 club bib recipients for the Boston Marathon and find out who is working toward running a marathon in every state, who will be running their ninth Boston Marathon in April, who has a family tie to running Boston in an MVS bib, and who sweats it out to the Hamilton soundtrack. Learn their top tips and advice, favorite MVS memories, and what they’re most looking forward to below.
Bhavisha Pushpak, North Andover
Bhavisha joined MVS in 2018 after meeting Tom Licciardello at a PT appointment. A runner since 2017, she’s done 6 marathons, making Boston her seventh. Though she’s run Boston once before, this is her first in-person race for the marathon. She is “on cloud nine” about running on behalf of the club!
- Pre-race pump-up song: I like a little quietness and of course the National Anthem
- Favorite place to train: In my neighborhood, the Harold Parker State Forest
- Anticipated marathon sneaker: New Balance 880
- Run you’re most proud of: Any charity runs which go to a good cause!! New York and Chicago marathons
- Best marathon advice you’ve received: To finish it Strong!
- Best marathon training tip: Be persistent, disciplined, and most importantly, have fun!
- Why Boston: It’s a dream come true, since 2007
- Favorite MVS memory/moment: Every track run and Bus to Boston for human chain
- Last word: Thanks to all my fellow runners who motivate and challenge me during this journey and have made me a strong runner!
Lam Tien, Haverhill
Lam became a Strider in 2019. He’s now run 6 marathons, with this year’s Boston giving him 7, or his third consecutive Boston. He’s hoping to PR in an MVS bib this year. Lam said receiving the club bib means a lot to him. “Being able to represent MVS on race day is truly an honor.”
- Favorite song to run to: Remember the Name by Fort Minor
- Pre-race pump-up song: Gonna Make you Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) by C&C Music Factory
- Anticipated marathon sneaker: Nike Vapor Fly
- Run you’re most proud of: Boston Marathon 2021 because it was my first in-person marathon
- Best marathon training tip: Don't start out fast, walk a little if you have to
- Part of the race you’re most looking forward to: Wellesley Scream Tunnel (huge adrenaline rush on that part of the race)
- Why Boston: It's the greatest marathon in the world plus it's in my home state.
- Favorite MVS memory/moment: 2021 Boston Marathon because Tom gave me his spot when he didn't have to. I'm forever grateful for that.
- Advice to Boston first timers: Enjoy the experience. This will be the best day of your life.
Kara Stamm Larcome, North Andover
Kara joined MVS in January 2017 shortly after running her first 5-mile Feaster Five. While she ran the virtual Boston Marathon in Fall 2021, this will be her first-ever in-person marathon. She’s proud to be running in an MVS bib. “I’m so grateful for this opportunity. I never thought I’d run a marathon, but the support and encouragement of this club is amazing.”
- Favorite place to train: All the hills around North Andover
- Training buddies: This time, my brother Chris Stamm and Tim Milmore, usually it's Andrea Holmberg.
- Run you’re most proud of: My first 12-mile training run because it wasn't as hard as I anticipated it to be
- Best marathon advice you’ve received: Enjoy the day and don't go out too fast.
- Best marathon training tip: Keep running up and down hills.
- Why Boston: So, my friends and family can cheer me on, especially my dad. He's been so supportive and encouraging of my running and he ran Boston with an MVS bib in 2011 at age 69.
- Part of the race you’re most looking forward to: Seeing all the MVSers at the start and crossing the finish line.
- Favorite MVS memory/moment: Running the Bradford Valentine's Day Race in 2017 as a father-daughter duo. It was my first SIRS race and my dad finally had one of his kids in MVS gear.
Andrew Szendey, Andover
Andrew joined the Striders in 2016. While he already has two marathons under his belt, this third marathon will be his first Boston. He hopes to finish, in under 5 hours, and PR. He was thrilled to get a club bib. “I practically teared up when I got the notification of a MVS Boston bib. I will be making a 35 year dream a reality.”
- Favorite song to run to: All Revved up with No Place to go by Meatloaf
- Favorite place to train: Any route that starts at my front door
- Training buddies: Wendy Madden, two years ago she contacted me to do a run together as NYC was both of our first marathon; the introvert in me who used to run 80% trails by myself until joining MVS was going to say no, but my wife got to me with, it’s polite and civil to accept an invite. So, I did and we pushed each other and had great conversations.
- Anticipated marathon sneaker: New Balance, my first running sneaker in 1975 and I even worked for them in the 1980s.
- Run you’re most proud of: 1993 Stouffer hi-tech 10k in Burlington Ma. I was 33 and every mile was run under 7 minutes for 6:45 pace. Somehow, I knew this was going to be the best race of my life that it is the only result I kept from younger days
- Best marathon training tip: Get to the start line healthy
- Part of the race you’re most looking forward to: Running by Fenway park; for years I watched the early Red Sox game that showed runners going by.
- Favorite MVS memory/moment: So many of the MVS striders staying at same hotel for NYC, just made my first marathon that more special
Louise Cummings, Andover
Louise has been a Strider since 2014. She’s now run 27 marathons and this year she’ll be taking on her ninth Boston. Louise said her goals is to “appreciate and savor every step.” As for running the race with an MVS bib she said, “it’s an honor and a privilege…I’m so grateful to have the opportunity.”
- Favorite place to train: Bruce Freeman Rail Trail with friends
- Training buddies: Norma & Diane
- Anticipated marathon sneaker: Hoka Bondi 8
- Run you’re most proud of: Maine Coast Marathon 1985 — it was my PR of 3:15 and my best friend won the women’s race and gave me her pewter mug trophy, then I came in 10th and gave her mine!
- Best marathon advice you’ve received: Run your own run and break it up into carefully planned sections.
- Best marathon training tip: It’s ok to feel exhausted during the heavy load weeks. Stay with the plan and get lots of sleep and water.
- Why Boston: I have so much gratitude to be able to run this race for the 9th time. So many people would love the opportunity and that is never lost on me.
- Favorite MVS memory/moment: Watching Chad and Andy finish his first Boston Marathon
- Favorite part of Boston: Right on Hereford, Left on Beacon
- Advice to Boston first timers: Soak in every minute!
Ed Burke, Groveland
Ed has been a Strider since 2017. He’s run 23 marathons in 15 states and 2 countries, with the goals of running a marathon in each state and completing all six World Majors (he’s completed 3 so far). He’s run Boston three times before – once in-person and twice virtually. Always with the jokes, he shared that getting the bib means, “I will need to upgrade the snacks for my next hosted run.”
- Favorite song to run to: The entire movie soundtrack to Rocky IV (I’m Gen-X).
- Favorite place to train: The hilly-hills of Haverhill
- Anticipated marathon sneaker: ASICS GT-2000 10 GORE-TEX
- Run you’re most proud of: The Big Sur Marathon. It was my first back-to-back marathon shortly after Boston back in 2019. I didn’t expect to finish, and I just made it across the finish line in time before they reopened US-1.
- Best marathon advice you’ve received: It’s a 20-mile warmup and a 6-mile run.
- Best marathon training tip: Don’t hurt yourself. Live to run another day.
- Part of the race you’re most looking forward to: Turning right on “Mount Hereford”
- Why Boston: It’s home.
- Favorite MVS memory/moment: Turning onto Boylston Street for the 2021 Virtual Boston Marathon the Saturday before the running of the ‘actual’ Boston Marathon. That run was 26 miles of virtual marathon and 0.2 miles of the ‘real’ Boston Marathon as Boylston was wall-to-wall with runners picking up their Bibs and there were dozens of MVS’ers on the sidewalk cheering for me as I staggered toward the finish line.
- Advice to Boston first timers: Go very slow the first 5-miles, you can’t see the hill you are running down but you will feel it at mile 17
- Last word: Everywhere I go someone comes up to me and asks me “Do you know Sal?”
Mikaela Reynolds Blanchette, Lawrence
Mikaela joined the Striders in 2020, just ahead of the pandemic. She’s run 5 marathons in two countries and is working toward finishing the six World Majors. Boston will be number 4 on that list. She was thrilled to receive the club bib. “It’s a privilege to run Boston and I’m honored to run it on behalf of the club.”
- Favorite song to run to: Anything on the Hamilton soundtrack, but probably Lafayette’s song.
- Training buddies: My fellow Striders Yaira, Jim, and Debbie, and the greatest Pod Squad ever!
- Anticipated marathon sneaker: New Balance 860
- Run you’re most proud of: NYC Marathon in 2021 – it taught me a lot and I had the opportunity to run it for the Lung Cancer Research Foundation in my grandmother’s memory.
- Best marathon advice you’ve received: Go out slow.
- Best marathon training tip: Hit the hills with tired legs.
- Part of the race you’re most looking forward to: The people! My family and friends who will be along the course, the MVSers at the start, and the hometown crowd!
- Why Boston: I couldn’t think of a better first marathon back to running than Boston!
- Favorite MVS memory/moment: Anything with the Pod Squad and my first-ever NYC start village experience with the MVS crew in 2021. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything!
- Last word: Thank you to the committee for selecting me and to all my fellow MVSers for training with me, offering advice, giving route insight, and providing expert coaching. You’re truly an incomparable group!
Diarmuid Cahill was unavailable for comment but has shared his excitement in earning a club bib.