Hopkinton High School's Student News Site

HHS Press

Hopkinton High School's Student News Site

HHS Press

Hopkinton High School's Student News Site

HHS Press

Senior Set to Run Boston Marathon

Running the Boston Marathon is arguably one of the biggest accomplishments in the running world. For over 120 years, runners from around the world have traveled great lengths to participate in this marathon. In their home countries, participants start training well before the Boston Marathon takes place in April, and some even train a full year before then. Among these trainees is our school’s very own senior, Nina Brookes. 

Six days a week, rain or shine, Brookes prepares for the big race in April. She laces up her shoes, puts her AirPods in, and leaves her house on foot, ready for the familiar route she’s run many times before. Speedy yet steady, she runs past the high school to the marathon start line downtown, knowing she herself will be lined up at that very place in four months.

After completing the day’s training, she plans a brand new one for tomorrow.

“Each week consists of a few kinds of medium runs, one or two strength training days, and one long run on Saturdays which increases by two miles every week,” Brookes explained.

Surprisingly, Brookes considers herself fairly new to running. This past September, her father signed her up for her first half-marathon, which she had spent most of her summer preparing for. As her endurance went up, so did her passion for the sport.

Completing her first half marathon turned out to be the catalyst that started Brookes’ passion for running. Even after finishing with an impressive time, Brookes told herself that she could do better and signed up for another half-marathon. She intensified her training, striving for faster mile times, longer distances, and self-discipline every step of the way. The day of the race finally came, and Brooke’s training paid off. She placed third in her age group and improved her time tremendously. 

Brookes and Webb will join forces to fundraise for the Class of 2024.

Brookes, who is also the Class of 2024 treasurer, took this energy into a class officer meeting in November, which was centered around raising funds for senior week activities. The Class of 2024 is the last class currently in high school to have had their high school years impacted by COVID-19. The pandemic had caused the Seniors to miss out on a year of class dues, one of the most crucial school fundraisers. The class officers have since been working tirelessly to make up the funds lost from their freshman year. 

Historically, the high school has always had someone run the Boston Marathon in their name. This has been a highly effective fundraiser, generating thousands of dollars for the given class.

“The senior class officers put our names in a lottery for marathon bibs,” explained Class of 2024 president Sean McCann. “They randomly drew names and we got lucky enough to get pulled twice.” 

Class advisor Michael Webb claimed one of these bibs and secured his spot in running the Boston Marathon for the Class of 2024. This left an open second spot—perfect for Brookes to take.

“I never thought I’d have the opportunity to run a marathon. When the idea of running the Boston Marathon was presented to me, I jumped on it immediately,” Brookes said. 

Webb and Brookes have a goal of raising $6,000 each for the class, which adds up to $12,000 total. This will cover all the money lost from missing freshman year class dues and will allow Senior Week activities to be subsidized. This lowers costs for individual seniors to participate.

“There’s going to be a ton of QR codes in small businesses around town. There will also be different places in the high school to donate. Our main place will be GoFundMe,” McCann said.

Brookes finishes her second half marathon in just under two hours, setting a personal record.

In its first day open, the joint GoFundMe supporting both Webb and Brookes racked in over $1,000, chipping away at its total goal.

“I’m one of the class officers, so we thought it would be inspirational to have a class member run for the class.” Brookes said. 

The community isn’t the only one supporting Brookes in her marathon journey. Kayla McCann, Hopkinton High School alumni, and three-time Boston Marathon runner is supporting Brookes in quite a unique way: by designing Brooke’s training plan.

“I’m very excited to have Nina [Brookes] train for the Boston Marathon because you don’t typically hear about a high school runner competing in a marathon, especially one as high profile as the Boston Marathon,” she stated. 

While a senior in high school, the elder McCann also ran the Boston Marathon.

“I was in Nina’s exact shoes when I was a senior in high school, and I know how time-consuming both school and training can be,” she recalled.

Brookes, like many other seniors, also faces the pressure of college, deadlines, and maintaining top grades. She uses her training to overcome these stressors, with the marathon being the light at the end of the tunnel. Although she knows her training will become increasingly difficult in the coming months, Brookes jogs on a steady path. 

She also has planned things out so that her athletic plans do not end at the Boston Marathon finish line. She hopes to run more races, along with incorporating her long-time passion for strength training and weightlifting into her fitness routine.

“Depending on how the marathon goes in April, I’ll know more about my future running plans,” Brookes said. 

She dreams of competing in the New York Marathon at some point in her life and is open to running 10ks—her favorite type of race.

To support Brookes and donate to the Class of 2024 marathon bib and to support Brookes, donate using this link.

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