“This is an opportunity to be a role model and teach about something important while doing what I like to do.”
At the same time, Peterson says he understands and has seen the importance of finding ways to limit the number of hours kids spend in front of computer and video screens, something that also leads to obesity.
By running the marathon and helping kids seek fun and positive ways to increase physical activity, Peterson believes the message will sink through, at least to some, and help fight a problem (childhood obesity) that has more than tripled in the past 30 years.
Of course, Peterson won’t be focused on this while he’s running. He’s hopeful of getting a PR time and he’s training diligently to reach it, getting in the required long runs of over 15 miles and surviving the grueling Boston Prep 16-Miler in Derry back in late January.
“It’s been a rough winter (for training), but I feel like I’m ready,” he says.
Once the start gun goes off in Hopkinton, Peterson will be trying to stay under control, monitor his body, stay at a steady pace and enjoy a sport that seems to just keep getting better.
Whatever the outcome on the course, Peterson is pleased that while running his fourth marathon, he can also educate the kids and parents in the West Newbury community about why staying active, along with good nutrition, is a key component to a person’s overall well-being.
In a way, it’ll be like having the best of both (running and teaching) worlds.
Meet John Peterson Age: 38 Education: Amesbury High School, Merrimack College Profession: Teaches sixth grade at Page School in West Newbury Marathon experience: Ran marathons in Pittsburgh, Chicago and San Francisco Goal for Boston Marathon: Break PR time of 3:43, educate young people on importance of nutrition and exercise