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Tufts University: The President's Marathon Challenge

About the Team

The Tufts Marathon Team fields a team of 100 Tufts students, staff, faculty, alumni, parents, and friends from around the country, who train to run in the annual Boston Marathon, while raising funds to support nutrition, medical, and fitness programs at Tufts. The team is the largest known collegiate marathon program in the United States and attracts runners and supporters from around the country.


President Lawrence S. Bacow initiated the program in 2003, and the Boston Athletic Association awarded 25 spots to Tufts runners to participate in the marathon. The goal was to connect students, faculty, alumni, parents, and friends while raising funds for university programs related to health and fitness.

Fundraising Commitment

Runners raise money for the Personalized Performance Program--a health and fitness program for Tufts students, faculty, and staff--and for The Friedman School of Nutrition Professor Christine Economos’ efforts to curb adolescent obesity. Staff, faculty, alumni, parents, and friends of Tufts are required to raise $5,000 and students are required to raise $1,500. During the 2011 marathon season, the team raised $362,036. Since its inception in 2003, the TMT has raised more than $3,003,765. 


Training starts September 7 with runs as short as two miles, and continues through a 30-week program until the marathon on Patriot’s Day in April. However, there are unofficial training runs year-round. No previous running experience is required. Runners must participate in a “qualifying” run (for commitment, not ability) on Sunday, November 20. The 100 numbers are assigned at the end of January.


A professional staff, including Coach Donald Megerle, who has been involved with the program for since 2004, and two physical therapists are onsite to support the team during training sessions and the actual race. Megerle, who was the 2007 recipient of the Tufts Athletics’ Distinguished Achievement Award and an athletics coach at Tufts for 33 years, dedicates endless hours to the team and each individual runner. Runners will attend at least one lecture on nutrition from the Friedman School. 

For more information, email or call Don Megerle at marathonchallenge@tufts.edu or 617.627.4755.


“There is much to be said about preparing for a marathon. Some coaches will take notice of proper nutrition, while others might highlight distance and pace. There are those who will encourage you to read articles and watch videos. And then there is Coach, with the most invaluable tip of all: Believe. Think positively. Trust yourself. Imagine that you really can do it – and then go ahead and fulfill your dreams.”

- Eyal Amit, A09

Coach's Blog
Catch up with Coach
Don Megerle. Have a
question? Email him at marathonchallenge@tufts.edu

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