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26.2 Foundation: A Look Back at 2023

By contributor,
26.2 foundation


Happy New Year to all – friends, partners, advisors, Team Inspire runners, and Foundation supporters everywhere. We are deeply grateful for your backing and encouragement.

The past 12 months have been pivotal for us, and I believe we’ll come to look back on 2023 as a genuine turning point in our journey. One thing I know for certain is that we couldn’t have made the progress we did without you – so, thank you.

Here are just a few reasons why we believe that 2023 has been such a notable milestone.

The International Marathon Center

As work advanced on our signature project, the International Marathon Center (IMC) in Hopkinton, MA, we were able to reveal precisely what visitors will experience when they visit the Center. Through a virtual video tour produced by Healy/Kohler Design and HCAM-TV and released in June, guests can get a taste of the rich scope of marathon history, interactive exhibits, state-of-the-art facilities and compelling activities that we have planned. I encourage you to take a look.

In October we released the detailed case for support for the IMC, which outlines the rationale, need and capital requirements for the project. The case study can be found on our website – which, incidentally, was completely redesigned and re-launched in February. The case’s release also marked the quiet launch of our capital campaign, about which you’ll hear more in the coming months.

No one appreciates the scope and ambition of such a project, or the skills required to achieve it, more than we do. In February we named Kim Chisholm as the Foundation’s Executive Director of Development and Institutional Advancement, a new position and one to which Kim brings an extensive background in organizational development and fundraising. Please join me in welcoming her.

This fall we also strengthened the team by expanding our Advisory Council – a group of experts in disciplines ranging from marathoning, to civics and history, to DEI, media and public relations, and commercial property development. Among the newcomers to whom we extend a warm welcome – and our thanks – are Olympians and marathon champions Meb Keflezighi and Jean Driscoll; Russ Hoyt of the Hoyt Foundation; development expert Bill McAvoy; and Dave McGillivray, marathon race director and head of DSME Sports. They join a host of notable authorities on the Council, including former Governor Michael Dukakis and marathoner Bill Rodgers, to name just two.


Our programs focus on education, wellness and economic development, and include such global-to-local initiatives as the Team Inspire Boston Marathon runners; the Marathon Essay Contest for Boston-area students; and support for the Hiller 5K physical education program at the local middle school.

The 26.2 Foundation has been a proud recipient of B.A.A. invitational entries since 1996, and the charitable donations raised by Team Inspire members have been instrumental to our projects. In 2023, our Boston Marathon team members hailed from five countries, ranging from Brazil to the Philippines, and from 12 different U.S. states. Together they raised $188,000 for Foundation programs. Go, team!

As in past years, our regional programming focused on the Marathon Essay Contest for middle school students in Ashland and Hopkinton, MA, and support for The Examined Life initiative that deepens regional teachers’ knowledge of ancient Greece, democracy and civic engagement. These programs are part of a larger marathon education initiative managed in partnership with the Alpha Omega Council of Boston. The 26.2 Foundation and Alpha Omega share a vision – one that promotes civic virtue, philanthropy and scholarship in order to make connections across local, national and international communities, preparing the leaders of tomorrow.

At the local level, the Foundation helps underwrite such programs as the Hiller 5K, an eighth-grade elective at the Hopkinton, MA Middle School, designed by educator Debra Pinto. The course – in which students follow an assigned training plan for the semester – saw more than 200 students competing in the Hopkinton race on November 9th, its largest turn-out since the program began five years ago. The Foundation is now exploring the opportunity to help develop a templated curriculum for an elective that could be made available to schools across the country.

And, as we look ahead to 2024, one of the programs we’re most excited about is the 100th anniversary of the Boston Marathon start in Hopkinton. (In its earliest days, it began in neighboring Ashland.) We’ve planned a host of activities that we’ll be rolling out in the next few months, many featuring recognition of Hopkinton’s Marathon Footprint. Stay tuned.


“In union there is strength,” Aesop once said – a philosophy we pursue faithfully. We would accomplish little without our partnerships and alliances. Most are profiled on our website, but several deserve special mention here.

A very special thank-you goes to Symeon Tegos, Consul General to Greece in Boston, who has been a staunch supporter of the Foundation since the very beginning of his appointment to the post in August 2022, offering guidance, support and participation in our various programs.

Thanks, too, to the National Hellenic Society, whom I was kindly invited to address at their annual Heritage Weekend in Las Vegas in October, sharing our vision of an International Marathon Center. When I think about the Society, I cannot help but see the values and ideals of the 26.2 Foundation mirrored within: service to our fellow citizens, the communities we live in, and our nation. And I see the Society as a beacon for promoting, understanding and appreciating Hellenic heritage, as well as providing stewardship for shared democratic values and ideals.

Thanks as well to Ted Twinney and Start Line Brewing Company in Hopkinton, MA for their ongoing support. Ted not only recognizes the Marathon every April with the brewing of Marathoner IPA, proceeds of which are donated to the 26.2 Foundation, but supports and hosts many of our activities. Thank you, too, Kelly Grill, executive director of the Hopkinton Center for the Arts, for your ceaseless creativity and support, and Scott Richardson, principal of Gorman Richardson Lewis Architects, for the beautiful design that will become the IMC.

And, finally, of course, thank you – the nearly 5,000 recipients of our regular communications, who lend your support to the 26.2 Foundation in ways both great and small. It is much appreciated.


Timothy Kilduff

President, 26.2 Foundation