The 125th Boston Marathon - Meet Horizons' Runners!

The Boston marathon is ranked as one of the world’s best-known racing events, attracting spectators and runners from all over the world to participate in this prestigious sporting event. Horizons for Homeless Children is proud to be an official charity through our partnership with John Hancock, securing sought-after bibs for this esteemed race. Every year, dedicated runners fundraise on behalf of our organization to support our mission and programs before taking on the 26-mile marathon route.  

The 125th Boston Marathon is a momentous one, not only due to its milestone in the event’s history but it’s unusual fall date, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having been rescheduled, cancelled and rescheduled once again – a first in the marathon’s decades long history – the anticipation and dedication of Horizons’ runners is palpable. Our organization is honored to have so many runners return to sign up for this long-awaited race, continuously fundraising in support of our mission despite the many challenges along the way. Like Horizons’ families, Horizons’ marathon runners are resilient, and we can’t wait to cheer them on!

Read a few words from some of our runners – both new and returning – on why they’re running for Horizons in this year’s historic race: 

Jamie Atkins (returning runner 2020/2021) 

“Horizons for Homeless Children is an important cause to me and especially meaningful to my family. I am honored to be running my third (official) marathon, my first (live) for this team, and honored to be able to contribute towards to the goals of the families, caregivers, counselors and staff who make up the Horizons community.” 



Jackie Brennan (returning runner 2020/2021) 

“Horizons for Homeless Children does great work for a cause that’s very close to my heart!” 


Tori Burke (returning runner 2020/2021) 

The city of Boston is very near and dear to my heart as I grew up just North of the city. Running 26.2 miles through the city’s streets has always been a dream of mine, and I am so appreciative to have the opportunity to do so in support of such an amazing organization, especially during these challenging times. Today, an astonishing 1 in 19 children experiences homelessness in MA. By providing high-quality early education, vital opportunities for play, comprehensive family support services, and advocacy on behalf of some of Boston’s most marginalized citizens, Horizons aims to end the cycle of poverty and help alleviate the trauma and stress of homelessness on both children and their families.” 


Nikki Charifson (returning runner 2020/2021) 

“Working with the Horizons team last year (leading up to the canceled Boston Marathon), I was truly impressed with all the work this organization does for the homeless community. Families living in poverty have suffered disproportionately from COVID illness, hunger, homelessness, unemployment, and systemic racism. I knew I had to get involved! It’s always been a dream of mine to run in the Boston marathon for a great cause. I’ve been an active runner since I was 13-years-old, and have been watching the race from my hometown, Framingham, every year. I can’t wait to participate myself! 


Bob Cremin (returning runner 2020/2021) 

“I took a tour of Horizons for Homeless Children’s Center and was overwhelmed by the passion by the teachers/staff/volunteers for the children. It was also rewarding to see how the children reacted to their care. I was inspired ever since then and knew I wanted to run the Boston Marathon for Horizons.” 


Jenna Mark (returning runner 2020/2021) 

“Families living in poverty have suffered disproportionately the past 18 months from COVID illness, unemployment, and homelessness. It’s unimaginable to think of quarantining in an 8’X10’ shelter room struggling to provide basic needs for oneself and family. During the pandemic, Horizons has continued to support these families in a multitude of ways.” 


Caroline Carney  

Growing up, I was fortunate to have many opportunities that allowed me to pursue my dreams. There are too many families who aren’t able to give their children the opportunities they need to learn, to play, and to thrive. For me, running the marathon is about running for the children at Horizons, so that they believe that they can do anything and be anything they want to be.”


Carolyn Irving 

“Currently 1 in 6 children in America live in poverty, and research shows that early adverse experiences and prolonged childhood stress can negatively impact development in a variety of ways. Horizons for Homeless Children provides meals and a safe space for children through an early education center and Playspace program. They also provide support for parents through the family partnerships program. I believe in the work being done by this organization since early access to education can greatly improve children’s future outcomes.” 


Kenneth Williams 

I’m taking part in the 125th Boston Marathon to raise money for Horizons for Homeless Children, who do great work for a cause that’s very close to my heart.” 


Varonica Ragan  

“Horizons is changing the trajectory of children and their parents’ lives with creative solutions, empathetic support, and tireless advocacy.”  

Cheer on Horizons for Homeless Children’s running this Monday, October 11th at the 125th Boston Marathon and follow our instagram to watch our race day story update live! 

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