Felipe Pardo said he never considered himself a runner. Before running the Boston Marathon this spring, he had never run more than three miles at a time, so imagining the idea of 26.2 was a daunting task, he said. But after a particularly tough first semester, Pardo, MCAS ’22, said he knew it was something he had to do.
“I’d seen two examples of marathons, and we had just come off the fall marathon,” Pardo said. “So I was like, this could be the craziest way to do something that is completely unlike me and learn more about myself through an insurmountable challenge that would help me have faith.”
So, 18 weeks out from the marathon, Pardo started distance running for the first time. As a new runner working toward a big goal, he quickly learned a few important lessons.
“The biggest obstacle was mentalizing something that was so far away because I was making choices that would benefit me in the long term,” Pardo said. “So it forced me to become more intentional with my time in the short term for a long-term goal, which is a lesson that I learned that I really liked.”
Pardo ran for the Red Sox Foundation, a charity that seeks to improve health, educational, and recreational opportunities in New England. These issues had long been a passion for Pardo, and locking in his charity gave him extra strength, he said.
“You get added motivation when you’re running for an actual cause because you know that there are people you are directly impacting,” Pardo said.
The one thing Pardo never had trouble envisioning was the moment he would reach the top of Heartbreak Hill, he said. And despite his exhaustion at that point in the race, the experience of seeing all his friends lived up to the hype.
“I see that sign, and I just, I’m in tears like I’m a mess,” Pardo said. “I see all my friends that had different signs, and they were all cheering me on. And that moment was really surreal.”