The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Monahan’s Marathon: Colgate Sophomore Conquers Boston

Monahan’s Marathon: Colgate Sophomore Conquers Boston
Printed with permission of Brendan Monahan

Colgate University sophomore Brendan Monahan ran the Boston Marathon last Monday, April 15. After months of training, Monahan accomplished the incredible achievement and crossed the finish line in honor of a charity very close to him.

Monahan ran for the Golf Fights Cancer charity. He was one of 21 runners who raised money for the cause. He aimed to raise $10,000 but has already raised $25,000 for cancer patients and research. Monahan knew from the very beginning that he wanted to support the cause.

“My uncle helped found the charity. My family has always been very involved in it,” Moahan said. “I have been raising money through a golf marathon, where you play 100 holes in a day. I’ve done that for the last four years raising money for them. This year was my first opportunity to run the Boston Marathon, so I figured I’d do the real marathon.”

The day was unbelievable, according to Monahan.

“When you’re running, you see all these people who come together for one big moment, so it’s cool to see that because you rarely do in the world today,” Monahan said.

Monahan ran in honor of this grandmother, who passed from cancer in 2007. Monahan shared that she was present in his mind while he ran the race.

“[I] didn’t really think about anything else,” Monahan said.

In total, The Golf Fights Cancer team raised around $800,000. The team gathered together for a dinner on the Saturday before the marathon. 

“After everyone was done eating, we talked about each person’s individual reason for why they are running, who they are running for and why they are raising money. It was really touching and very much a bonding moment. It really brought a lot of purpose to running on Monday,” Monahan said. 

In preparation, Monahan trained for over four months. 

“I was given a plan by Brian Oats, the founder of Golf Fights Cancer, who also ran the Boston Marathon this year for the 28th time in his life. He gave me a whole training guide as to what and how many miles I should be running each day,” Monahan said. 

Monahan ran four times a week, two short runs and two long runs. His longest training run was 20 miles.

“Once I was done with that, I felt pretty good and prepared to run,” Monahan said.

Monahan recognized that balancing training and life as a Colgate student was not easy. 

“I would set up plans at the beginning of the week on what days I would run,” Monahan said. “I would always prioritize my schoolwork, but I always knew I had to get four runs in per week.”

Sophomore Charlie Aronson, Monahan’s good friend and classmate, supported Monahan as he put countless hours into his training.

Seeing a person so devoted to his goals shows a great deal of his character, Aronson said. Im so proud of the resilience [Monahan] showed in training while also being a full time student.

Despite substantial training leading up to the event, Monahan ultimately faced something he could not control: unexpected racing conditions. On the day of the marathon, Boston, Mass., was surprisingly 75 degrees and sunny.

“I had never trained in more than 60-degree weather,” Monahan said. “I was not very prepared for the humidity and I was more accustomed to the cold, as it’s very cold at Colgate in the spring.”

Monahan was in the last wave to begin the race, starting at 11:15 a.m. 

“There were a lot of people at the beginning of the race, so I couldn’t really run because we were so packed together. Once people started to spread out, you start to realize, ‘Yeah, I’m running the Boston Marathon,’” Monahan said.

For most runners, “Heartbreak Hill” is the most difficult part of the race. It is a steep incline at mile 20 of the race. However, for Monahan, it was the highlight. 

“A bunch of my friends from Colgate came to support me. I knew they were coming, but I didn’t know if I would be able to see them” Monahan said. “I saw them at the bottom of Heartbreak Hill and they went absolutely crazy and they ran up Heartbreak Hill with me. I didn’t even realize I was running up the hardest part of the race until I was finished with it because I had so much adrenaline.” 

Sophomore George Weems, Monahan’s friend and roommate, was one of those in attendance.

“Seeing my good friend [Monahan] run the marathon made me really happy for him,” Weems said. “He worked very hard the last few months to prepare and to see him achieve his goal is amazing.”

For Monahan, he believed the downhill nature of the race to be quite challenging.

“The course was downhill, which I was not prepared for,” Monahan said. “You might think that sounds easy, but it wasn’t because it targets muscles I had not really trained because Colgate is a much flatter area and Boston tires you out in different ways that I had not expected.”

Monahan spoke about how he felt finishing the race.

“[It was] probably one of the best feelings of my life.” Monahan said. “I knew that was my goal for almost four months and as I was running down Boylston Street, I heard people cheering and yelling [for] me and was looking at all these other runners going through a lot of pain. A lot of people were crying. Seeing people accomplish their goal alongside myself and all the other Golf Fights Cancer Runners was very awesome.”

Donations for Golf Fights Cancer are open until May 15 at this link.

More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Colgate Maroon-News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *