Finding a Community Through Running

Published: Tuesday, June 12, 2018

nina brickett

Ten years ago, Nina Brickett ’16, M.B.A. ’18 quit smoking and started to gain weight. She tried going to the gym, but she wasn’t into it. She read an article about running a 5K, so she decided to try it.

“I started at my house on a used treadmill I had recently bought,” she said. “After eight weeks of training, I could finally run a 5K without having to walk. It wasn’t long after I had been running that I found a community of runners and started running more 5K races.”

A 5K race turned into a 10K, a 15K, and a half-marathon.

“Running became part of my daily routine. I found myself running 3-4 days a week. It gave me time to myself, time with some great friends, and it was a stress reliever,” said Nina.

Last fall, during her son’s football practice, she decided to run with another mother.

“Our first run was two miles around the track. It wasn’t long before we started to run 5-6 miles during each practice. Before the end of football season, we had done a half-marathon together,” she said. “Both of us had a full-marathon on our bucket lists and decided this was the next goal.”

They signed up for the Sugarloaf Marathon and started their 20-week training on January 1, 2018.

“The training was tough, especially since the weather didn’t always want to cooperate. I ended up having to do a lot of my training on the treadmill, and there is nothing worse than spending 2-3 hours of your day running on a treadmill,” said Nina. “But as the temps started getting warmer and the air was no longer hurting my face, I was able to get back outside and continue my training on the road.”

When the mileage got up to 10 miles, it was difficult. Nina was questioning if she wanted to continue. It was hard to run that many miles after working all day, but she fought through.

On May 19, Nina successfully ran the full 26 miles. She crossed the finish line at 4 hours:41 minutes:51 seconds.

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Nina is a senior accountant at Thomas College. She has worked for the College for five years. She left a job that was demanding and took time away from her family. Nina also took the job here because of the family atmosphere and because it gave her a chance to finish her education.

“The people at Thomas are what makes this college so special,” she said. “There is something to be said when your colleagues become lifelong friends. Also, there is a feeling that you get when you look out the second-floor windows of the Ayotte building and see students, faculty, and staff walking around campus that makes you say, ‘Wow, I’m so lucky to be a part of this community.’”

Nina lives in Rome, Maine, with her husband of 13 years and two sons, 12 and 18. When she’s not working or running marathons, she is running her 12-year-old around to all his sports.

Nina says it’s important to have something other than work to focus on.

“We can get so wrapped up in our daily routine that we forget to take care of ourselves,” said Nina. “It’s important to take time for yourself and do something you enjoy. Running has allowed me to meet some wonderful people; become physically active and mentally stronger; and, has given me the opportunity to make and achieve some challenging goals.”

Nina says health and wellness is important for your overall well-being, and she hopes to pass this message to her kids by setting an example.

“You only get one body, one mind, and one soul. So, do what you can to take care of yourself. Go for that walk, hike that mountain, read that book, get that massage. Your body, mind, and soul will thank you,” said Nina.

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