Meet the 2018 Team TUGG Boston Marathon Runners

It’s that time of year again in Boston! With the days getting longer, spring is just around the corner, and that means it’s almost time for the Boston Marathon.

This year, TUGG is so lucky to have another amazing team of dedicated runners forming our 2018 Marathon Team, supporting four extremely worthy causes. Danielle Cohen, Sarah Downey, Allison MacLeod, and Julia Wilson, all members of Rev Boston, are lacing up their shoes and preparing for the big day, forming our first-ever all-female team of runners. They’re running in support of Future Chefs, Roxbury Community College Foundation, Best Buddies, and More Than Words, respectively.

To help our community get to know the runners better, we sat down with each of them and asked them to share their thoughts, fears, and biggest piece of advice for running a marathon. 

Read on to see their responses.

What's your biggest fear about Marathon Day? What's the thin you're most looking forward to about it?

Danielle: My biggest fear is that I’ll want to use the bathroom every ten minutes, but the lines for the port-o-potties will be huge. Luckily, my bathroom anxieties pale in comparison to the excitement I feel about running my first ever marathon! Seeing the crowds along the street and knowing I’m one of the thousands of crazy people commuting into Boston the hard way is the thing I’m most excited about.

Sarah: My biggest fear is that something bad and beyond my control will happen, like unseasonably hot or windy weather or a weird cramp in my legs that just shuts me down despite all the work I've put in. I'm most looking forward to crushing Heartbreak Hill. We run it almost every time we train as a group, so it's become not only familiar, but almost comforting. I know that once I get to the top, the hardest part is over and I just have to keep moving for another 6 miles.

Allison: This will be my sixth time running Boston and I am so excited to get back out there. However I haven't run a marathon in six years and have been battling a foot injury all training season, so I’m certainly feeling some anxiety around being able to finish. No matter what, I'll still get out there and do the best I can. I am most looking forward to seeing my two boys William and Lachlan along the course and at the finish line - those two little faces will definitely give me the encouragement I need!

Julia: My biggest fear is not being able to finish! I've been battling IT band and knee issues for the past couple of months, but am determined to cross the finish line. I'm most excited to see friends & family as well as the More Than Words team cheering me on. And I'd be lying if I didn't include the post-race burger and beer :)

Why are you running for the organization you chose?

Danielle: I’m running for Future Chefs because I want to support their inspired approach to preparing teens for a successful life after high school. Future Chefs uses culinary training to provide early employment, transferable skills training, and ongoing support to these teens as they transition from adolescence to adulthood. The caring staff of Future Chefs has created an environment of high expectations, growth opportunities, and positive interactions, and I am super excited to support them!

Sarah: I'm running for the Roxbury Community College (RCC) Foundation, which supports scholarships for RCC students as well as RCC Athletics at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Facility. RCC provides access to a college education consistent for students by reducing economic, social, psychological and academic barriers to educational opportunity. Education is the great equalizer and I love that RCC makes it accessible to a broader segment of society. I also competed in track at the Reggie Lewis center when I was in high school, so I have some nostalgia for it.

Allison: This year I am running for Best Buddies, an organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I participated in the Best Buddies 100 Mile Cycling Ride a few years ago so I am thrilled to be supporting this amazing organization again!

Julia: I'm running for More Than Words, an unbelievable social enterprise that empowers youth that are homeless, court involved, out of school or in the foster system by giving them a job and allowing them to take charge of a business. I've volunteered with them during my training and not only is the organization doing impactful things, the team & youth couldn't be kinder or cooler. They're expanding their space so it's awesome to run for them at such an important time.

What's your biggest piece of advice for others looking to start training for a marathon?

Danielle: Enjoy the journey.

While it’s tempting to fantasize about crossing the finish line on race day, I think it’s super important to stay focused on the training you’re doing that day and that week. Running can be tedious and boring, so find ways to make it fun. Run with other people. Appreciate the scenery. Be proud of how badass you are for running mileage that is higher than the temperature. High-five strangers. Rock out to your favorite tunes as you hit the pavement. You need to put in a lot of time to train for a marathon, so there’s no reason you can’t enjoy that time you’re spending.

Sarah: I will quote Ron Burgundy from Anchorman here: "Apparently you just run, for an extended period of time." Seriously, so much of doing a marathon is just laying down the mileage and putting in the time. You don't have to be a phenomenal athlete. You don't even have to love running. You just have to commit to following a program where you keep increasing mileage in a patient, steady, intelligent way and you listen to your body in the process and back off when you're feeling like you're overdoing it. Tactics that help me: listening to audiobooks and podcasts, tracking my strain and recovery with WHOOP, and sticking with accessory workouts like weightlifting and yoga to combat the repetitiveness of running.

Allison: Believe in yourself! Start small and challenge yourself a little bit more every day. I'm a firm believer that with the proper training, and most importantly, the right attitude and belief, you WILL finish.  Anyone can train for and run a marathon. 

Julia: Don't let anything stop you! If you want to do it, you'll find the time. There’s nothing like waking up at 5am to run 8 miles before a flight to make you feel like a total bada$$. Also, be patient, listen to your body and take care of yourself. It's literally a marathon, not a sprint.

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Each runner is currently fundraising to help support their respective organizations. Use the links below to donate to their CrowdRise pages. Every amount helps!