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Tufts University: The President's Marathon Challenge

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President's Message: Call for Runners

Dear Members of the Tufts Community,

This past April, I had the opportunity to meet with the members of the Tufts Marathon Team the night before the Boston Marathon and then watch the race the next day. I came away incredibly impressed with the dedication each member of the Tufts team put into their training—and into their fundraising to support health and fitness programs at Tufts. During my first few weeks on campus, many people have asked about the future of this terrific program. I am pleased to be able to report that, thanks to our partners at John Hancock, we will be able to field a team in the historic Boston race for the next four years.

If you have ever dreamed of competing in the Boston Marathon, I encourage you to consider running with the Tufts Marathon Team this year. We have been asked to raise our fundraising minimums to bring us more in line with other charities that benefit from their association with the marathon. So this year, marathon numbers will be provided to students who pledge to raise at least $1,500 and to alumni, parents, faculty, and staff who commit to raise $5,000. We understand that some may find these fundraising targets daunting—especially young alumni. We have secured some challenge grants that will help with this task. The funds raised through this program support research on nutrition, obesity, hunger, and famine, and sustain research and programs that support health and wellness across the university.

Members of the marathon team will be coached and supported by Don Megerle and a dedicated team within the athletics department. Professor Miriam Nelson from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy will provide guidance on training and nutrition, and Eric Johnson and his colleagues in University Advancement will help with fundraising advice and coordination. Preparing for a marathon is hard work, but the support you will receive from Coach, Mim, and Eric will buoy your efforts and carry you to the finish line.

Many of you may be like me and admire those who choose to take on the marathon, but look for other ways to enhance your fitness and health and enjoy the camaraderie of team activities. If you enjoy running but do not see a marathon in your future, I would encourage you to join me in taking advantage of Coach Megerle and his colleagues in training for a local charity 5K—or just to increase your fitness. This ongoing training for shorter races will be part of a number of new health and wellness initiatives we will be rolling out for the Tufts community in the months ahead. If you would like to join Coach Megerle for training, the team runs take place on Wednesday mornings at 7:00 a.m. and Sunday mornings at 8:00 a.m. The meeting place is in front of Cousens Gym on the Medford/Somerville campus. Members of the Tufts Marathon Team tell me that training with Coach has been the highlight of their experience. We are very fortunate to have such a resource available to those of us who want to train—but for shorter distances.

For more information and to sign up for the Tufts Marathon Team, please visit our website at tuftsmarathonchallenge.com. Please keep in mind that each year we have more people interested in running the marathon than we have numbers to distribute. We will try to be fair with our students by giving preference to those nearing the end of their time at Tufts. If you have any questions about the marathon or training for other runs, please contact Coach Megerle at marathonchallenge@tufts.edu.

Best wishes,

Tony Monaco

"What I realized coming down Commonwealth Avenue was what a great source of pride this program is for everyone associated with the university. I felt a school spirit like I had never felt before."

- Dan Pliskin, A86

Coach's Blog
Catch up with Coach
Don Megerle. Have a
question? Email him at marathonchallenge@tufts.edu

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