First-Time Runner, Prepares for the Boston Marathon

Resident, Mark Paulson, will be crossing the Boston Marathon finish line for the first time this April. Unlike many other die hard marathoners, Paulson has no formal running training and even admits to quitting middle school track after one practice in the sixth grade. While his running resume consists of a few 5Ks and a casual jog here and there, the father of three is on a mission to run for a cause and prove his pals wrong.

This fall, one of Paulson’s colleagues mentioned that he was interested in applying for one of four bibs that the organization Year Up, was giving out for the 2020 Boston Marathon.

“My colleague mentioned he might be interested, so I jokingly said I would apply if he did and I told some of my friends at a Halloween party that I was thinking about applying and I was almost laughed out of the house,” said Paulson, who is motivated by everyone’s disbelief in his running endeavor. “Not one person thought I was capable of doing it. I have a dual-mandate now. First: raise funds for an amazing organization that I’ve seen firsthand make real differences in people’s lives. Second: prove everyone wrong and finish this race”

As part of the Marathon Coalition, coached by Rick Muhr, Paulson has learned proper running technique and has gained tips for a successful marathon preparation.

While Paulson is motivated to prove that he can make it to the finish line, he is doing it for a good cause, supporting an organization that works diligently to provide career and educational opportunities for young adults in need.

Year Up’s mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by ensuring that all young adults gain the skills, experiences, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through careers and higher education. Year Up’s strategy to close the Opportunity Divide is threefold: Serving Students and Alumni Directly, Empowering Others to Serve, and Changing Systems to Close the Opportunity Divide.

“I can’t wait to see my friends and family who never would have guessed they’d be there to see me at the finish line,” said Paulson. “I’m excited to prove to myself that I can be disciplined and determined enough to follow through with one of the most physically demanding challenges out there.”

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