2014 Boston Marathon runner: Michael O’Connor

Above: Michael O’Connor is one of 35 Southborough residents running in this year’s Boston Marathon (contributed photo)

As we all know the tragic events of last year’s marathon have only managed to strengthen support for the event.

Southborough has always had an impressive showing at the Boston Marathon. So it’s no surprise that we have a large contingent entered in this year’s race.

On Monday, April 21, thirty-five Southborough residents will don a bib a to run. Many will be raising funds for important causes in the process.

Every runner has a story, and from now until marathon day, I’ll feature as many as I can.

First up is Michael O’Connor who is running with the John Hancock team for The Ron Burton Training Village and The Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. Here’s his story.

Given the horrible events of last year, like many others in Boston and around the world, I felt compelled to respond in some way. So when the opportunity came up, I jumped at the chance to run this year. And with luck on my side I got a spot!

So it has been a winter of firsts for me as I started training. First time buying a real pair of running shoes, first time running in sub-freezing temperatures, first time being seen in public with tights on ([my son] couldn’t stop laughing – said I looked like a girl :), and first time running 10, 12, 13, 16, and 18 miles !

The charities I am raising money for have been partnered with John Hancock for a long time. The Ron Burton Training Village and The Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston are both focused on helping children from challenging environments succeed by developing their individual abilities and potential. It has been a welcome break during our John Hancock “team” long runs, to see the Ron Burton kids, dressed in their old school sweats, handing us water and cheering us on.

At last check, Mike had raised $800 towards his $1,500 goal. If you want to help, you can donate online here.

[If you’re running the Boston Marathon and would like to have your story featured, drop me a line at mysouthborough@gmail.com]

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