Cross Country Coach Runs Third Boston Marathon, Qualifies for Next Year


Ben Wolcanski, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

“There is no better drug than exercise,” said Coach Cassidy McGowan about his love for running.

McGowan who has been running five days a week since he was in the 6th grade started running for the challenge of it.

“I like the challenge, it’s super challenging. I like the camaraderie, and I like challenging myself mentally and physically. It’s almost more mental than physical at this point,” McGowan said. 

“Running keeps me alive. It’s a beautiful sport. It’s so fundamental and primitive. It’s what other sports are based around,” he added.

McGowan ran in his third Boston Marathon on April 17, 2023, as a master runner.

“When you turn 40, you are called a master runner. It’s awesome but also interesting because it shows that I’m not getting any younger,” McGowan said.

Around 35,000 people participated in the marathon even though it was 49 degrees and drizzling rain.

“It is an awesome experience,” said McGowan.

His best record came in last year’s Boston Marathon with completing the 26 miles in 2 hours and 57 minutes.

“The Boston Marathon is so hard, but I always wanted to run it, and I always had friends that talked about it. I wanted to experience it firsthand, and it lived up to my expectations,” said McGowan who does one marathon every year.

“For the 40-44 age group, which is my age group, you need to complete the marathon in three hours to qualify for next year,” McGowan said.

McGowan finished with a time of three hours on the dot and qualified for next year’s marathon. 

“My goal was to get in the 2 hours and 50 minutes range, but three miles of hills just wrecked me, so I refocused my goal of qualifying for next year’s race,” McGowan said. 

“Everything has to line up. You gotta go into the race healthy and train the best you can,” he said.

McGowan started training all the way back in January for the marathon by doing speed workouts, tempo runs, long runs and strength workouts.

“I ran 50-60 miles a week for three months,” he said. 

“It’s rare to experience success when you first start racing. You have to keep building up to it.

It’s grueling. Start small,” McGowan said as advice for new runners.

“I believe everyone is a runner,” he added.