My Boston Marathon Story: Bradley Paster

After the rainy race of 2015, Paster is out for the full Boston Marathon experience.

Each of the 30,000 people running the 2017 Boston Marathon has a unique story. In this mini-series, we’ll bring some of them to light.


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Bradley Paster/Photo provided

Bradley Paster

Age: 45
Location: Dover
Past Boston Marathon Appearances: 1

His Marathon Story:

Bradley Paster was robbed of the full Boston Marathon experience.

Paster ran his first marathon for Boston Children’s Hospital, in memory of a baby he and his wife had lost, and in honor of a friend’s son undergoing cancer treatment. But that happened to be in 2015, when Marathon Monday fell on a rainy, 40-degree day, shrinking the legendary crowds that normally line the race route.

“The marathon was hard,” Paster says. “The marathon is supposed to be hard, it’s not supposed to be easy, but I didn’t even get the full marathon experience.”

Paster remembers running through Wellesley College—which is famous for its Scream Tunnel—and seeing, as he recalls it, “three people and a card table.”

“I was like, ‘Where is everyone?'” he remembers.

This year, Paster is back in search of that quintessential Boston Marathon experience. More importantly, he’s running in memory of his father-in-law, who was diagnosed with a hyper-aggressive brain tumor only a month before he died.

“That was understandably shocking and devastating,” Paster says. “[This is] something I can do to honor his memory and raise awareness and to just celebrate his life.”

Paster is a member of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team, and has raised nearly $10,000. He says it’s a “privilege” to run for organizations like Dana-Farber, and to see families and children along the course that are affected by the fundraising.

“I think it’s one of the things that, quite frankly, makes the Boston Marathon great. It’s one of the things that makes Boston as a city great,” Paster says. “It’s great to be an elite runner, but the charity organizations, that’s what makes the Boston Marathon.”

To donate to Bradley Paster’s Dana-Farber fundraiser, click here.


Hallie Smith Hallie Smith, Health Intern at Boston Magazine hsmith@bostonmagazine.com