BU student sets his horizon on the 128th Boston Marathon

Matthew Lutkins running along the Charles River as he prepares for the Boston Marathon. Photo Courtesy of Matthew Lutkins.

By Akua Devall

Boston University News Service

For Boston University junior Matthew Lutkins, most mornings begin by waking up bright and early to be out the door by 8:00 A.M. for marathon training. He said he mostly runs by the Charles River esplanade and doesn’t like to listen to music; instead he prefers to get stimulated by the sounds of his own breath.

Lutkins’ longtime passion for running inspired him to participate this year in one of most iconic sporting events in the nation, the Boston Marathon. This competition stands out from other races he has participated in, as this marks his first ever marathon.  

“The Boston Marathon has always been a dream of mine since coming to BU,” Lutkins said. “Ever since my freshman year, I’ve watched two races of the Boston Marathon and have always just loved seeing the runners run and all the spectators supporting them as well.”

He won’t accomplish this feat alone, as he plans to run with another BU junior and his close friend, Tyler Critz.

“We’ve been best friends since freshman year and it’s been a great opportunity to come together again to unite for something that we both really love and find passion for,” Lutkins said.

Lutkins began his racing journey in high school, where he ascended to becoming his team’s track and field captain. He said he only did hurdles and never considered long distance running until coming to college.

“It’s [Boston’s] such a runnable city and just a really great area to explore, so mixing my passions of long distance running and exploring the city all just came to fruition this past year,” Lutkins said.

In order to accomplish his goals, Lutkins said he has a rigorous training schedule of up to 30 hours a week. On weekdays, he tries to conserve his energy doing 5-10 mile “half runs,” while weekends are much more grueling since he can run up to 20 miles in one practice.

“They [long distance runs] get my legs moving and teach me how to run different distances at different paces,” Lutkins said. “Long runs are my favorite cause they get me out and get me moving [and] I feel like I got a good workout in, so then I can take the rest of the weekend to rest.

Lutkins said that training has made his weekly routine difficult to manage while balancing being a full time student. 

“Sometimes it’s been crazy with exams and homework assignments when I have to do a two hour runs three days a week and then a long run that takes up half my day on the weekends.”

Lutkins is also focussed on raising money for the charity he’s running for called “Back on my Feet,” which he has raised over $10,000 for already. The program aims to empower people experiencing homelessness through exercise and community, according to their website

“As a sociology and an economics double major, I really want to advocate for underprivileged  and underrepresented populations, ” Lutkins said. “It just seemed like a perfect match to help be able to volunteer and to be able to help support them and to amplify their voices.”

Lutkins said that any sort of hardship during practicing has been worth it, as the training process hasn’t just empowered him physically, but mentally. 

“I had no idea if I could run a full marathon, I had no idea if I had the time too,” Lutkins said. “It taught me that if I really sit down, really commit to something and really give it my all I know I can accomplish it, and I’m excited to accomplish it on Monday.”

Lutkins said that what sets the Boston Marathon apart from other marathons is its sense of unity.

“Running is such an individual thing, but the Boston Marathon itself is just so community oriented,” Lutkins said. “It’s just so wonderful to see everyone come together and unite around such a prominent Boston tradition, and just to take part in that means the world to me.”

When asked about how he plans to celebrate accomplishing such a huge feat, Lutkins said: “I would just love to get my hand on a hamburger or some fries, just something juicy and delicious.”

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