The Brookline Center: Martin Foley | News


AGE: 28

RESIDENCE: Ventura, California


How did you start running? : “I got in shape early in the COVID-19 pandemic and started with daily 3-6 mile walks when I lived with my family in Salem, NH for some alone time during the pandemic. After four months I lost 50 pounds and reached my goal weight and wanted a new challenge. I started a 5K treadmill couch program in August 2020 and have continued to push myself for longer distances, running my first virtual 5K run in November 2020 and then a virtual half marathon in February 2021. Later, I ran my first in-person race at the Santa Barbara Half Marathon in November 2021 and started looking for opportunities to run a full marathon with Boston leading the way.

What are your goals for the race? : “First and foremost, my goal is to stay mentally and physically healthy. My target time for Boston is around 4:30, but I’ll be happy to finish with any time. I’m very proud of the fact that I’ll be going from a couch to a 5K treadmill program to running the Boston Marathon in about 20 months, but after Boston I plan to keep pushing myself whether it’s another marathon or to become faster in short distance races. like a 5K or a half marathon.

How was the training?“The training has been tough, going from a half marathon to a full marathon is very intense with over 400 miles of training in a 16 week training window. The time commitment has been by far the hardest part with long Saturday runs that sometimes last three and a half hours, followed by a recovery plan after that involves rehydration, nutrition, yoga, ice baths, stretching, good sleep, etc. During the training, I also had to deal with the death of my grandmother in February, who was one of my first donors, and a minor case of COVID in January, so it was a process of navigating unforeseen circumstances that interrupted training. I also worked with Marathon Coalition coach Rick Muhr, who created my training plan, hosts weekly Zoom meetings for his charity runners, and in the together has been an incredible resource pen a very discouraging few months.

Tell us about the association and your relationship: “The charity is the Brookline Center for Community Mental Health, a mental health center in Brookline, Mass. that provides affordable or free mental health care and community social services.

“Throughout my life I have worked with therapists on major depression, social anxiety, health anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, body dysmorphia, and mood disorder. ‘food.

“The pandemic has brought mental health to the forefront nationwide and looking back I haven’t received the treatment I should have received as a child and that’s largely because mental health was a subject that was not as widely understood as it is today.

“When I was researching charities to run for, I noticed the Brookline Center’s focus on helping children, including their BRYT program which helps high school students have a transition program to return back to school after a mental health crisis.

“During my adult life, I have focused on addressing my mental health by working with therapists and have noticed a drastic increase in my quality of life and self-improvement.

“The therapy, combined with fitness and running, motivated me to become the best version of myself and when I saw the opportunity to combine it with the Boston Marathon, I knew that I had to apply for a spot with Team Brookline, The Brookline Center’s marathon team.

“The Brookline Center provides reduced or free mental health care to those in the Brookline area who need it and I am thrilled that the money I raise will help others who cannot afford to pay for therapy to get the help they need.”

How can people donate? : “People who wish to donate can visit my fundraising page at or via Venmo at martinfoley18 with the subject line “Boston Marathon Donation” up to a week after the April 25 marathon.

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