Harwich Native Noah Nickerson Prepares For First Marathon

by Brad Joyal
Harwich native Noah Nickerson is training to make his marathon debut during the 128th running of the Boston Marathon on April 15. COURTESY PHOTO Harwich native Noah Nickerson is training to make his marathon debut during the 128th running of the Boston Marathon on April 15. COURTESY PHOTO

Noah Nickerson is no stranger to competition. As a youngster growing up in Harwich, he was always busy playing baseball, basketball or soccer. His passion for sports followed him from Harwich High School to Monomoy Regional High School, where he graduated in 2015.

Nickerson even played club baseball at Clemson University. Upon graduating in 2019, he continued to stay active while playing various club sports and working out recreationally.

Despite all of the years he poured into team sports, Nickerson’s next athletic undertaking will test his ability to conquer an individual challenge that is impossible to replicate: the Boston Marathon.

Nickerson will make his marathon debut April 15 when he lines up at the start line in Hopkinton and attempts to complete the 26.2-mile journey to Boston.

“I always played sports and did conditioning, but I was never someone to put on shoes and shorts and go out and just run,” said the 27-year-old Nickerson, who now lives in Boston’s North End neighborhood. “I honestly don’t think I ever ran more than four or five miles before this.”

The inspiration to run Boston came to Nickerson last year when he and a group of friends were in Newport, R.I., supporting a friend running the marathon there.

“Living in Boston, I think everyone goes to the marathon and watches it and you see people cross the finish line and see how impactful it is,” Nickerson said. “I always thought it was a really cool thing and it’s always been a bucket list thing of mine to be able to say I ran a marathon.

“After watching her in Newport, I said to my friends, ‘I think I’m going to run Boston next year.’ And they were like, ‘Yeah, OK. That’s never going to happen.’”

Nickerson connected with a co-worker who helped him establish a plan and then began a 16-week training regimen that included his very first run on Christmas morning. The months since have been hardly a walk in the park; an achilles injury he sustained in February threw a wrench into the Cape native’s preparation and forced Nickerson to take a break for a couple weeks.

Despite facing challenges while training, Nickerson continues to stay the course. He gains inspiration and motivation from his father Tim, a member of the U.S. Army Reserves who is set to be deployed for his third tour of duty right before the marathon.

Although his father won’t be in attendance to see him run, he’ll be on Nickerson’s mind during his training and the 26.2-mile journey on April 15. Throughout his training, Nickerson has raised money for Homes For Our Troops, a nonprofit organization that builds and donates specially adapted homes for severely injured post-9/11 veterans.

“I was lucky enough to have my dad get deployed twice and come home in one piece and not have anything significantly impact our family, which is pretty incredible,” Nickerson said. “I know a lot of people aren’t as lucky, and Homes For Our Troops helps provide to the people who aren’t as lucky, whether it’s rebuilding homes for them or providing them with support to get them back on their feet.”

Nickerson said the past few months have been an incredible journey, adding that he wouldn’t have been able to see his training progress as much as it has without the support of his running coach, physical therapists, friends and family.

“It’s been a lot of bumpy roads,” he said. “It’s been a lot of ups and downs, so to have all of this support by my side is a pretty cool thing. Having my dad be away during it, I think that’ll give me a little motivation to get it done.”

While he’d be happy just to reach the finish line, Nickerson is approaching the marathon like he always has approached sports: with a competitive edge and desire to accomplish more.

“I think completing it is an accomplishment in itself, but I’m definitely that competitive sports person, so I have a target and I want to try to hit that,” Nickerson said. “I think that’s just the nature of who I am.”

Visit tinyurl.com/5cpph2m8 to donate to Nickerson’s fundraiser benefiting Homes For Our Troops.