Marathon Monday: Setting & Achieving Your Goals

Dating back to 1897, the Boston Marathon is an inspirational event here in Boston that is centered around setting and accomplishing an enormous goal. Held the 3rd Monday of every April, this race is 26.2 miles in length, starts in Hopkinton and ends on Boylston Street in downtown Boston. The marathon hosts over 30,000 runners from right here at home and all around the world. 

Running the marathon is an extremely difficult achievement for even the most seasoned runner. It requires incredible endurance and determination - as well as laying out many checkpoints and goals to get across the finish line. We spoke to three marathon runners who are friends of Ditch the Clutter and all run for different reasons. We are very proud and excited to share their stories here.

Marianne Nichols, New York born and currently living here in Boston has run the marathon three times. Her first marathon was run alongside her roommate, who helped keep her on track throughout her initial training. She advises new marathoners, “Don't over do it. I definitely UNDER do it, which I do not recommend, but it's okay to miss a day here and there. The long runs are very important but if you miss a weekday run, you will be fine.” Marianne ran her first marathon to know she could do it, but now she runs for her dad, who has since passed away. “I don’t run every year, but when I do, it’s for my dad. I like to talk to him when I run.”

Relocated here from Ireland almost 30 years ago, Mark "The Machine" Porter, has been a force for charity in Boston. This is his 11th year running the Boston Marathon. Mark let us know his favorite part of the run is “turning from Hereford street onto Boylston street, and seeing the finish line, then hearing the crowd going crazy for each and every person”. Mark is a charity runner and cancer survivor, most motivated by children and families impacted by cancer. He has been able to raise over $500K for the fight against cancer.


Susan Ladd Bond is a runner, golf professional and mother of two originally from Massachusetts. She has run the Boston Marathon 5 times, along with 7 other marathons. Susan recommends starting early (December) and finding a training program on the marathon website that works best for your individual style. Her biggest motivation for running is her father. He never gave up, so neither will she. “Everybody should try one!” Susan encouraged, “Never feel like you’re going to be the last one running, there will always be someone behind you - if you work your hardest.”

If you are thinking of running just remember - Mark says, “one step at a time, and Copley Square will be right there” and Marianne reminded us to “Enjoy every second of race day - it is an amazing experience! I know many people run to music, but if you can run without it for awhile you should to hear the crowd's excitement!”

We are extremely inspired by these runners' resolve and reasons for running to get across the finish line. It reminds us that everyone has their own individual challenges to overcome and motivation that gets them there, but if you work hard (in your own style), you can achieve even your biggest goals.