In the first of our City and Town segment ahead of the 128th Boston Marathon presented by Bank of America, we head to the city of Framingham. Framingham is the third metropolis that you pass through on Marathon Monday between miles 4.8 and 7.3. We spoke to a selection of local residents to find out about Team Framingham and how the community benefits from race day in more ways than one.
In the fall of 2013, Team Framingham was formed. The program was created with the goal of making their invitational entry distribution something that would provide exclusive benefits for the residents of Framingham, the city employees and Framingham focused charities.
The Team Framingham program has evolved and excelled beyond anyone’s wildest imagination when it comes to fundraising and training. Eleven years on, the team is set to hit the $1 million mark at the 128th Boston Marathon.
Of the 200 team members in that time, 198 have successfully completed the 26.2 miles, 60% of those having never run a marathon before. The planning and preparation of the runners and the team pays off.
Team runs happen every other week over the 22-week buildup, with an open invitation extended to other local or regional runners who would like to join. Some years runners have even travelled from Texas and Maryland to jump on the bus for the final long run along the course.
The program is more than just training – they have regular meetings where they welcome guest speakers; it includes a community partnership with the Metrowest YMCA with complimentary memberships to team runners during the training period; fundraising support is provided; the Greater Framingham Running Club offers mentorship to those who want it; Framingham Public School bus company provides free buses for their three point-to-point long runs and on marathon day; street banners are made for each runner and hung on the street poles in downtown Framingham.
We can share the facts and figures, but there is no truer endorsement than to hear directly from those involved on all sides of the program...
The Voices of Framingham
Framingham Mayor Charlie Sisitsky said, “I was happy to vote to create Team Framingham when I was on the Framingham Board of Selectmen in 2013. It was a wonderful idea by former Selectman Mike Bower.
“Team Framingham has been and continues to be an amazing success. Since Team Framingham was created, it has raised $935,000 for organizations that help Framingham residents. It is scheduled to surpass $1 million with Team Framingham 2024. But Team Framingham is more than raising money. It is about creating runners, helping people achieve a dream, building a support network, and creating civic pride.”
Philip R. Ottaviani Jr., Framingham City Council Chair, Team Framingham Corporate Sponsor said, “Team Framingham has had incredible success since it was formed in 2013. This year they will reach over one million dollars in donations since its inception. I am happy that my family has been able to support this incredible group of community volunteers and runners. This is a true collaboration of the City, volunteers, and runners.”
Brandon Ward, Framingham City Councilor, Team Framingham Runner said, "I love Team Framingham not only because it promotes and supports local Framingham nonprofits doing great work, but more so because it builds a sense of togetherness, camaraderie, and pride within our community. To put it simply, Team Framingham is a representation of the best Framingham has to offer. It breaks down barriers and misconceptions about who is and isn’t able to run a marathon - and once you've run the marathon as a part of Team Framingham, you're forever connected to the program. Every town or city along the race route deserves to have their very own ‘Team Framingham’."
Michael P. Cannon, Framingham City Councilor, Team Framingham Corporate Sponsor said, “Running the Boston Marathon to raise much needed funds for a local Framingham charity is probably the most difficult way to support one’s community. It’s an undertaking that takes months of training during challenging weather conditions; it involves raising thousands of dollars while persevering through injuries and countless other obstacles. Yet nearly everyone who crosses the starting line in Hopkinton for Team Framingham (many of them first time distance runners) successfully cross the finish line on Boylston Street. It takes a tremendous amount of courage for someone who may have never run a 5K to take on the Boston Marathon, and to do so successfully.”
Mike Bower, Team Framingham Founder, Runner, and Steering Committee Member said, “From the great tragedy that was Boston 2013, emerged a wonderful community wide program that epitomizes TEAMWORK and PERSEVERANCE. Team Framingham was born in the fall of 2013 and since then it has evolved into a vital part of the City of Framingham’s community fabric, bestowing upon Framingham residents, employees, and charities the opportunity to be part of the iconic Boston Marathon lore. From the earliest days of Team Framingham our focus has been on training and fundraising and maximizing them both to the benefit of our team runners and charities. Now in our 11th year we will surely top the $1,000,000 mark in fundraising and prepare yet another group of team runners to get to the starting line on April 15th full of confidence and ready to join the 198 other Team Framingham runners who have successfully crossed the finish line on Boylston Street 26.2 miles later. My work on Team Framingham has certainly been the most personally rewarding work of my life. Long live Team Framingham.”
Kevin O’Connor, Director, Framingham Adult ESL Plus, Team Framingham Charity said, “Framingham Adult ESL Plus and the MetroWest ESL Fund have been lucky enough to be a Team Framingham Charity a couple of times, and every time it has been an excellent experience. Our runners helped us raise money to provide free adult English classes. These classes open so many doors for people, but it is even more than that- when they came to the school for an exciting rally, it built so much school spirit. It also helped our students learn something about the culture of their new home.”
John Sucich, Team Framingham Runner said, “I was lucky enough to run the Boston Marathon as part of Team Framingham in 2021 and 2022. I loved it. It is not often you can say without hyperbole that something is a 'dream come true.' Team Framingham is the reason I can truly say my dream of someday running the Boston Marathon came true. To be able to do so with a group of people from Framingham, led by a team that guided us along every step of the marathon course, all while raising money for a local charity, is an amazing experience. Marathon Monday was a challenge, but I couldn't have been more prepared thanks to Team Framingham's training program and team runs covering the course from Hopkinton to Boston. The only thing keeping me from applying to run for Team Framingham every year is that as badly as I want to run Boston again, I don't want to take a spot away from someone in Framingham who has the chance to experience running the Boston Marathon with Team Framingham for the first time.”
Laura Terzigni, Vice President, Boys and Girls Clubs of Metrowest, Team Framingham Charity said, “The Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest’s Framingham Clubhouse has benefitted from partnering with Team Framingham multiple times and is always incredibly grateful for the opportunity! The Framingham Clubhouse provides out-of-school services to more than 150 youth daily, offers a robust teen center, and opportunities for youth to build their great futures. An important aspect of the Club is eliminating all barriers to access – which includes providing transportation from the public schools to the Club every day. Every year, the funds raised by Team Framingham go directly to providing safe, reliable transportation for our youth members. Partnering with Team Framingham has also provided new role models for Club Kids – each year, team Framingham members who are running in support of the Club visit the Framingham Clubhouse to meet our youth members and share their marathon training journey with them. For that, we are so grateful to Team Framingham, the runners, and all of the supporters!”
Jenifer Feaster, Team Framingham Steering Committee Past Chair and Team Framingham Runner said, “Over 10 years with Team Framingham, I have been a runner, mentor, steering committee member, and this year, I'm also a charity partner! It has been an honor to be part of every aspect of this program and see the good it does for our runners and for our community. As a charity partner with the Heritage Chorale, I'm excited to be part of what will be the season when Team Framingham tops the million-dollar fundraising mark over its 10-year history.”
Stuart Hurowitz, Team Framingham Steering Committee Vice Chair and Team Framingham Runner said, “As a Steering Committee member since its creation, it has been wonderful to see the incredible growth of Framingham community involvement and support for Team Framingham over these past 10 years. We couldn't have reached our million-dollar fundraising mark for Framingham focused charities or have our team members run by the incredible energizing cheering section at Mile 6 on race day without this community.”
Mark Goldschmidt, Team Framingham Runner and Fundraising Coach said, “I have been honored to have benefited from Team Framingham in two ways: First as a charity partner for about four years and then as a runner in 2017. Since then, I have tried to give back as both a fundraising coach and mentor to some runners. It has been a joy to serve as a Team Framingham mentor and fundraising coach over the years since I ran. Through all of this I have met some great new friends who inspire me to continue to enjoy running.”
Vernon Turner, Team Framingham Runner, Past Member Team Framingham Steering Committee said, "Not in a million years! That was my initial thought when I put my name into the first Team Framingham Boston Marathon lottery. Three Boston marathons later (nine marathons in total), a past member of Team Framingham Steering Committee, and a current race mentor, I fully embrace the social, economic and health benefits that this program has brought to the Framingham community. What a wonderful annual opportunity we get from both the B.A.A. and the runners who step up to raise money for the best causes!"
Kevin Lopez, Director, Hoops and Homework, Team Framingham Charity said, “The fundraising that has been done on our behalf has been invaluable. And it’s not just raising the funds but ensuring that the overall goal of making sure the community's needs are met is unmatched.
Team Framingham would like to thank all their partners and supporters including: DPW, Parks and Recreation, City Clerk, Public Information Officer and Webmaster, HR Departments for the city and the schools, Framingham Public Schools, Keefe Tech High School, and the Government Channel, Mayor Charlie Sisitsky and the Framingham City Council, all their corporate sponsors especially Phil Ottaviani Realty Executives Boston West, Mike Cannon Private Client Capital Partners, Petrini and Associates and Atlantis Dental.
If you would like their training schedule or if you’d like to join them for any of their training runs email TeamFraminghamMarathon@gmail.com