MassBay students motivating Wellesley resident to complete virtual Boston Marathon

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Sue Maggioni and Maggie on Heartbreak Hill

Wellesley resident Susan Maggioni, dean of business and professional studies at MassBay Community College, is running the virtual Boston Marathon in early September fittingly enough for MassBay students who will all be taking virtual classes this fall.

The money Maggioni raises as a charity runner will go toward a scholarship fund to help MassBay students pay for tuition, books, and more.  She’s aiming to raise $10K.

“Our students are absolutely amazing; they are talented, dedicated, and caring, ready to learn and grow. They successfully graduate and transfer to four-year colleges and universities in greater numbers than any other community college in the state,” Maggioni says. “And many of our students are front line heroes, working in hospitals, health care and social work facilities, daycare centers, grocery stores, and restaurants. But many others have lost their jobs during the pandemic and are struggling to make ends meet while keeping their academic dreams alive.”

Maggioni has run the marathon once before to raise funds for MassBay students, and overall, this will be her fifth 26.2-mile race and third Boston Marathon. She hopes her first virtual marathon will be her last, though respects the Boston Athletic Association’s decision not to hold the race as usual for safety reasons.

“I’ve been a life-long runner; but I have never undertaken anything like this before–no cheering crowds, no road closures, no bathroom breaks…just me, my running buff and 26.2 miles to cover. I’m not sure how it will go, but I know I have to try. If our students can do what they do, then I can do this.”

Maggioni says she is grateful for everything the BAA has done to make even the virtual race memorable.

“But it does mean a lot of extra planning on the part of the runners. When the event was moved to the fall, I tapered for a bit, then began building up again, struggling to get those long runs in during our endless summer heatwave. I would have liked to have completed a 20 mile run, but tapped out at 17.5,” she says. “I’ll just rely on muscle memory for the rest, I guess.”

Her daughters, who run in college and high school, will provide support. So too will a six-hour playlist of “upbeat ’80s music.” Let’s hope she doesn’t need all six hours’ worth on Sept. 7, her target date.

That will give her a few hours to rest up for the first day of school, which starts Sept. 8.

Note: Maggioni says that two other marathon runners, Hannah Careway and Tom Regan, are raising money for MassBay’s Food Insecurity Program. Both are MassBay grads from this past spring, and received their bibs from the Wellesley Rotary Club.

More: Wellesley’s 2020 Boston Marathon runners (FYI, given that the race has been postponed and virtualized, not all runners on this list will likely be competing.)