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Tommy Feroce ’26 runs Boston Marathon to raise money for organization supporting victims of terrorism

First-year Tommy Feroce finished the 127th Boston Marathon in three hours and 33 minutes.
Courtesy of Tommy Feroce.

On Monday, April 17, 2023, 30,000 people from across the world ran the 26.2 mile course through Boston, Mass. as a part of the 127th Boston Marathon. Among them was Tommy Feroce ’26, who finished the race in three hours and 33 minutes.

Feroce, a native of Barrington, R.I., said running a marathon has always been a lifelong dream. But when it came to picking which marathon, Boston was the clear choice.


“I was in fifth grade when the bombing happened, and I remember worrying about friends who had gone to watch the race,” Feroce told The Daily Princetonian. “I remember how the city rallied together after the tragedy to support one another. That unity inspired me and I knew that if I was ever going to run a marathon, Boston would be first.”

In 2013, two bombs went off near the finish line of that year’s running of the Boston Marathon, claiming the lives of three spectators. The attack also wounded over 200 more people, shocking the nation. The slogan “Boston Strong” emerged from the tragedy to symbolize the city’s perseverance. Boston sports franchises adopted the mantra for their seasons, and it followed the Red Sox all the way to a World Series victory later that year.

Feroce crossed an important item off his bucket list by crossing the finish line, and he also continued the spirit of “Boston Strong.”

Feroce was sponsored by the One World Strong Foundation (OWS), an organization that is “dedicated to providing assistance for those affected by terrorism around the world,” according to Feroce. Founded by survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings, OWS “supports victims within a few weeks of their traumatic experience and is there for them throughout the healing process,” he says.

According to the Boston Athletic Association, their Official Charity Program “provides invitational entries to the Boston Marathon to select non-profit organizations. Organizations use these entries to recruit athletes who pledge to raise funds for their cause.”

Those who do not run as a part of a charity program must meet a qualifying time in a previous marathon — for men under 35, the current qualifying time is 3 hours. 


Feroce reached out to charities in the New England area in search of one of these spots in the Marathon. He originally sought out a charity that helps drug addicts with rehabilitation services, Project Purple, because one of his best friends from high school had benefited from their services. 

Project Purple didn’t have any spots left for runners, so Feroce, a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program at Princeton, then applied to the Semper Fi Fund, an organization that supports wounded veterans. They pointed Feroce in the direction of OWS, and a match was made.

Six months later, Feroce had raised over $9,000 for OWS. Running the marathon for charity gave it special meaning for him.

“It was amazing to accomplish something that I’ve always aspired to while additionally supporting an organization that’s important to me and the city of Boston,” he said.

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Feroce’s next goal is to complete an Ironman Triathlon, which consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a full marathon to finish. He plans on running often in the future, in addition to his long runs required for physical training runs for ROTC. 

The fundraising campaign for OWS is still open until April 24, as Feroce approaches his $10,000 target.

Harrison Blank is a Sports contributor at the ‘Prince.’

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