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Nashua North track coach completes third Boston Marathon

By Christopher Roberson - Staff Writer | Apr 20, 2024

Shane Gagnon, head coach of the boys track and field team at Nashua High School North, completed his third Boston Marathon on April 15. Courtesy photo

NASHUA – Running on his own accord, Shane Gagnon, 26, of Nashua, completed his third Boston Marathon on April 15 with a time of 3:30:41.

Gagnon began long distance running when he was in high school. Eight years later, he strives to bring other students into the sport as head coach of the boys track and field team at Nashua High School North.

“I love that we’ve built a culture centered around running even after athletes graduate,” he said.

As he was not running for a charity, Gagnon said he qualified for Boston by completing the 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:41:14.

However, he said his winter training was less than ideal.

“I dealt with a few minor injuries and got sick a couple times,” said Gagnon. “I was glad to have just the right amount of time to build up mileage to finish the race, even if it wasn’t my best time. I’m grateful that God has given me a healthy body that allows me to be physically active and involved in the lives of others.”

Looking back on this year’s race, Gagnon said the heat was the greatest challenge as temperatures topped out in the low-70s.

“Mid-April weather is hard to predict,” he said.

Like other runners, Gagnon agreed that miles 17-21 were the most strenuous. It is that part of the course where runners encounter the Newton Hills which culminate with the dreaded Heartbreak Hill. By that point, runners are 20 miles into the race and have just tackled three other hills. Heartbreak Hill is where fatigue really starts to set in, even for the most seasoned athletes.

Gagnon said his favorite part of the storied course is the famed Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood as the crowd gives runners a final burst of energy to cross the finish line.


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