While most people spend their holiday seasons eating sugary treats and avoiding outside exercise at all costs, Lexie Duseau has committed to doing quite the opposite.
Duseau, a digital advertising campaign manager for the Globe, began training this month for the Boston Marathon, a 26.2-mile feat she hopes to accomplish while raising $8,000 for Globe Santa. The marathon in April will be her first.
“Whenever I think about it, I get a little bit giddy,” she said. “I’m trying to keep the excitement high for those cold runs.”
Though most Globe Santa fund-raising is collected during the holiday season, the Globe’s Boston Marathon team is just one of the many campaigns that extend beyond the life of your Christmas tree. Duseau is one of two people running for the Globe Santa team in 2019. The other runner, Suchita Nayar, is the spouse of a Boston Globe employee.
Duseau joined the Heartbreak Hill Running Club recently and attended several runs with them before officially kicking off her training this week. Though she didn’t know anyone when she arrived, the broad reach of Globe Santa quickly formed connections with other runners.
One woman she met at the club is a Boston public school teacher who said many of her students receive Globe Santa gifts. Duseau said she shares the teacher’s story with people who are considering a donation.
“It makes such a huge difference just for the dignity that these kids get to have when they come back to school on the first day,” Duseau said. “They get to hold their chin a little higher because they got something for Christmas.”
The students want to help, too. Each year, Duseau said, the teacher gives her students an envelope to help Globe Santa, and some return envelopes with a few quarters, just to contribute.
The Boston Globe Foundation has had a running team for the marathon since last year. Over these two years, marathon runners have collectively raised $35,000 for Globe Santa, said Ashley Wheeler, a senior program manager at John Hancock, which is a principal sponsor for the Boston Marathon and donates hundreds of invitational marathon entries to nonprofits each year.
Wheeler said John Hancock is happy to provide Globe Santa with “a resource they can leverage to deliver on their heartfelt mission.”
“All of the causes our partners represent are important, not just during the holiday season, but year-round,” she wrote in an e-mail.
Running the Boston Marathon was a bucket list item for David Adlestein, who ran for Globe Santa in 2018. He got connected with the Globe’s team through a friend.
Adlestein trained with an online program and said the experience was a “blast,” even though the day was rainy and cold. He said it just felt good to run for a foundation that gives “people in need as much help as possible” and works throughout the year to do so.
“Obviously, these fund-raisers are probably most common around Christmas-time because that’s when it hits home to people,” he said, “but people need help every day of the year throughout the year.”
Josh Miller, a political reporter at the Globe, ran for the Globe Santa team in 2017 and said the experience was “one of the highlights of my life.” It also serves as a reminder that holiday-based organizations need support year-round.
“It feels good to do good,” he said, especially for children in the Greater Boston community.
“Literally, what could be better than that?”