Marathon Blog: Chris Brennan & Martin Connolly
Name: Martin Connolly
Home City, State: Gloucester, MA
Age: 39 on marathon day
Company: Northwestern Mutual
Name: Chris Brennan
Home City, State: Marblehead, MA
Age: 36 on marathon day
Company: Northwestern Mutual
How long us have you been involved with Horizons and how did you first hear about us?
Martin: I have been involved with Horizons for about 6 months and heard about your organization through Aaron Miller. Aaron Miller is a Board Member at Horizons.
Chris: I have been involved with Horizons for about a year. I also heard about Horizons through Aaron Miller, who also took me as a guest to the Spring Gala last year.
Why did you choose to run for Horizons over other organizations with which you’re involved?
Martin: I chose Horizons because I fell in love with your mission. I took a tour of Horizons back in the fall, and I got to see the amazing work Horizons is doing, and I knew I wanted to help. As a father of two young boys, I can’t imagine my sons not having a home, a warm bed, or a safe environment. I am so happy to help in a small way to provide a better environment for homeless children in Massachusetts.
Chris: After learning more about your organization and the impact you have on your community, I felt tremendously motivated to get more involved. When I was younger, as a result of family turmoil, I bounced from family members’ homes for a few years. We were very fortunate to have family members to help us out. I am not sure what we would have done if we did not have family to help us out. I have run other marathons for other charities in the past, but I feel Horizons is a mission that I can very easily get behind. I am happy that I can help Horizons by training, raising money and bringing awareness to the challenges of being homeless.
When asking family/friends for donations, what strategies have you found to be most successful? Also, what training strategies have helped you to be successful?
Martin: a few ways that I have been successful with fundraising is the Super Bowl Squares and hosting an event. I am planning a family fun bowling event that has a ticket admission fee, and our office is having a “casual Friday”. $10 to dress down on a Friday and will be split between our fundraising pages. I also believe my company match will help me reach my goal.
For training, I have found it is critical to be consistent. I have been disciplined with getting in shorter runs during the week and the long runs on the weekend. I also have worked hard on having a clean diet. I have enjoyed these long runs and seeing the improvement week after week.
Chris: For fundraising, I am lucky to have my wife’s support who shared my fundraiser page on a Mother’s Facebook group in Marblehead. I also found that individual email outreach worked really well for me. My stepfather is also running, so I sponsored something for him and asked him to the return the favor.
For training, I also have been following a clean diet. I think time management is key to getting in your daily runs in during the week and being consistent. The long runs have been tough with the brutal weekend weather, but I have been grinding through!
What has been the most challenging part of this experience?
Martin: The most challenging part has been incorporating the training into my busy schedule. I have very limited time to spend with family. My wife’s support has been instrumental to getting in my daily training, and it has been tough and a sacrifice for my entire family.
Chris: The most challenging part for me is also timing. In a way the training can feel like a job, but I have to remember this was my choice and my ambition to run Boston for Horizons. I know it will pay off though!
What will be the most rewarding part of this experience for you?
Martin: I hope to continue this relationship with Horizons for Homeless Children for many more years after the marathon.
Chris: I think knowing the impact you are having on homeless children and their families at Horizons is very powerful. Also, I hope this to be a long-term relationship with Horizons, and I hope to continue to build this relationship after crossing the finish line.
What will be the first thing you eat after you run 26 miles?
Martin: Spaghetti and Meatball!
What is your ideal weather for April 15?
Chris and Martin: 50 degrees and cloudy, breeze tail wind
Please consider supporting the marathon team with a donation today and remember to cheer them on April 15th!