Marathon Monday has always been one of the best days of the year for Shrewsbury native Courtney Howe-Cotto. This year, it will have even more meaning for the now-Boston resident, as she will be running the 127th Boston Marathon as a member of The New England Center for Children’s (NECC) charity team.
“Marathon Monday has been my favorite day of the year since I was a kid,” said Howe-Cotto. “When I finally worked up the courage to run it myself, I knew it had to be for #TeamNECC. The students, families, and staff at NECC could not be more deserving of my blood, blisters, sweat and tears.”
Howe-Cotto, who works as a business manager at Brewer Lane Ventures in Boston, worked at NECC early on in her career. She spent five years at NECC in the marketing and communications area, as well as the executive assistant to the CEO. “That experience has never left me,” she said. “I still find so much inspiration in the students, families, and staff that I had the privilege of getting to know during that time.”
Though she no longer works for NECC, Howe-Cotto said she feels “very lucky to remain part of the NECC community.” She has used her love for running—something she fell in love with when she joined the track team as a freshman in high school—as a way to support NECC. For the last few years, she has participated in the Annual NECC 5K Walk/Run for Autism and ran the Falmouth Road Race as a member of #TeamNECC in 2018.
And while Howe-Cotto is a seasoned runner, she’s never run a marathon. In addition to experiencing the iconic 26.2-mile course as a runner for the first time, she’s also looking forward to the finish line. “From this experience, I’m hoping to gain the feeling that I tackled something big and scary and can do it again.”
In fact, tackling hard things is something she learned while working at NECC. “During my time at NECC, I learned a lot about achieving milestones,” she said. “It’s all about goals there. Goals for education, goals for daily living, goals for families. Together, teachers, students and their families plot for a future that before NECC, seemed so out of reach. But at NECC anything is possible. And what I learned in my time there, is that there’s no secret sauce, no magic, no luck. It takes guts and commitment. Something that NECC students and teachers have in spades. Something I’ll be sure to remember when I hit the start line come April 17.”
To support Howe-Cotto, visit her Boston Marathon fundraising site.