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This year’s Mack Gives Back Day community service event prepared 90,000 non-perishable meals for 10 local nonprofit organizations.
Merrimack College Professor of Communication Lisa Perks was not planning on running the 2023 Boston Marathon.
Her first go-around in the fall of 2021 after the race was moved from its traditional Patriots’ Day date due to the COVID-19 pandemic was very good but challenging, she said. But after spectating with colleagues during the 2022 race and experiencing all the tradition and atmosphere from the sidelines, she thought why not give it another go?
“I thought, why don’t I give it a shot and soak in the experience,” said Perks. “For the final six miles of my first Boston Marathon, I felt delirious and didn’t take the time to look at the Citgo sign or appreciate the moment. This time, I want to be more present in the end and take in the Boston scene.”
This will be Perks’ third marathon, having qualified for Boston thanks to her time in the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon in Albany, New York. She noted her training this time has been good and she has mostly stuck to her schedule.
“Running is an activity where you get out of it what you put into it,” Perks said. “I started running in middle school and it has been a part of my life ever since.”
Perks added she is most looking forward to the support and camaraderie throughout Marathon Monday. “From mile one you never have a chance to be alone in your head because there is such great crowd support,” she noted. “People are so friendly and chatty whether they are volunteers, spectators or fellow runners.”
And her advice for first-time Boston Marathon runners this year, including three Merrimack students, was macro and micro.
“Everyone has their own set goals either running for charity or time or experience and it is important to keep that goal in mind,” she said. “Also make sure you run in clothing you have run in before and make sure you leave early.”