Northeastern students join in on Marathon Monday


Julia Henning

Third-year Robbie Neumann runs the 126th Boston Marathon.

Julia Henning, news correspondent

With a sunny Patriots’ Day off from classes, some Northeastern students found different ways to celebrate and participate in the 126th Boston Marathon. 

Monday, April 18, was the first Patriots’ Day with festivities in Boston since 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the 125th Marathon took place in October, just six months ago, this was the first time the marathon’s usual festivities were back in the spring. 

Robbie Neumann, a third-year combined business administration and health science major, spent his day running the marathon for the first time. He applied for a philanthropy spot and only learned that he would be running in the marathon three months before the race.

Neumann trained by running up to 10 miles every day on top of classes, his job at the visitor center and teaching spin classes at Marino Recreation Center. During the last month, he tapered down his training to preserve his energy and prevent injuries prior to race day. However, he still found challenges. 

During one of his long runs three weeks prior to the marathon, he noticed his knee began to hurt around mile 13 but didn’t think much of it. Eventually, it got so painful he called his mom to pick him up. 

“I went to PT [the week of April 14], and she said it was more likely than not that I have a meniscus injury, but I’m still running,” Neumann said.

Neumann ran the marathon with second-year finance major Lyndsey Toce and third-year international business major Hailey Werenski. They all met up on Monday morning to catch a bus to Hopkinton where they started the race at 11:20 a.m. Even with a meniscus injury, Neumann finished the race with a time of 05:02:33. 

“With this knee injury, I’m just like, ‘cross the finish line.’ Once you cross the finish line, I feel like you earn this title of marathoner,” Neumann said. ”People are impressed at the feat even if it took you a very long time.” 

Other Northeastern students found ways besides running to get on the course and participate. Julia Towne, a first-year combined speech language and pathology and communications student, woke up early to volunteer with the clean-up crew for the marathon. 

She received an email from HEAT, an environmental action team at Northeastern, before the marathon about the “Green Team,” which would be stationed along the path for sorting and cleaning up the thousands of water bottles and cups the athletes use and discard and decided to sign up. The 30 volunteers from HEAT were on the course from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“It was fun hanging out with other people who cared so much about the environment. I think it was impactful … to see how much we saved without having to go to a landfill,” Towne said. “Getting to interact with runners and see this big part of Boston culture was super fun for me.”

For students not running or volunteering, simply attending and cheering was a fun way to spend Patriot’s Day. Tiana Tran, a first-year public health major, stood as close to the finish line as allowed for spectators. 

Tran, originally from Seattle, wanted to see what the Boston Marathon was all about during her first year in Boston. She saw some of the first professional runners come into the finish line and then caught some of the larger groups of runners. The strength of the people pushing family members and friends in wheelchairs really stuck with Tran. 

“I think it is really cool to see people do that and have so much strength to do that,” Tran said.  “Just finishing at the same time as other people that were just running [takes] so much training and so much strength. That almost made me cry.”