We are super excited to present to you the profiles of our 10 dedicated runners who will join Team BHCHP for the 128th Boston Marathon. In this edition of a two-part series, we present to you the following five runners: Jess Cronin, Kevin Koncilja, Elie Lehmann, Christian Quigley and Constantin Weisser.
We’re deeply grateful to the Bank of America Boston Marathon Official Charity Program for providing us the opportunity to field a team for the program to raise funds that are imperatively needed to sustain our work. Please scroll below to read more about our runners and why they’re running for BHCHP this year..
Click here to support the ongoing fundraising efforts of Team BHCHP. Thank you very much!
Hometown: Rockport, Texas | Current Residence: East Boston, MA
I started running in my early 20s and loved how it made me feel physically and mentally. I’ve been running half marathons annually for years and have been considering a full for a long time. This year I feel ready to take on the challenge.
I had the opportunity to learn about the amazing work BHCHP does through a Corporate Citizenship role I held at a previous employer, and I have admired their hard work and compassion ever since. I want to run for an organization with a mission that I truly believe in. The work BHCHP does is incredible — partnering with the broader community to holistically address, support, and advocate for the needs of people experiencing homelessness with compassion and dignity. It is my honor to raise awareness of the fantastic work this organization does, and raise critical funds, as part of my marathon training and completion — making the journey to the finish line far more meaningful and impactful.
One of the most impressive things I learned about BHCHP is their Community Advisor Board, which includes up to 13 individuals who are experiencing or have experienced homelessness – and a few members dually sit on the Board of Directors. It demonstrates that BHCHP practices inclusive leadership when building programs and policies, ensuring these invaluable voices are heard and respected, and empowered to influence a meaningful community impact.
People experiencing homelessness are deserving of love, care, and support, including the healthcare that is essential to their well-being and dignity. Understanding their experiences helps break down stereotypes, reduce stigma, and foster empathy — building a more compassionate and inclusive community.
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio | Current Residence: Boston, MA
Growing up, I loved to run. I ran cross country and track in middle school and my first two years of high school. In my junior year, after the new coach implemented time trials, I was kicked off of the team for being too slow.
When I was in my early 20s, I moved to Boston for work. I didn’t know anyone in the city, and it was very difficult to make friends. A few months after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, I started volunteering at a local soup kitchen. I called other charities in the area looking for opportunities to get involved. One of those charities was the Flutie Foundation for Autism and they recommended that I apply for their Boston Marathon Team. I applied, was accepted to the team, and found a positive community and friendship through the charity program. And my first race after almost a decade of not seeing myself as a runner was the 2014 Boston Marathon. This will be my 11th consecutive Boston Marathon!
Over the past decade, running has been an integral part of my life. It has led to some of my strongest friendships and proudest accomplishments. I love the sport and I think that Team BHCHP blends my volunteerism with the homeless community and the running community that are both big parts of my life. I have volunteered at and helped lead the Wednesday Night Supper Club at the Paulist Center on Park Street. I have served dinner to many of the same people who rely on the BHCHP crisis van or clinic downtown. I also recently read the book “Rough Sleepers”, and many of the stories mirrored people who I have helped.
Since joining Team BHCHP, I have been surprised by how many people that I know from volunteering or running who have worked with or benefitted from the program.
Hometown: Newton, MA | Current Residence: Somerville, MA
I started running in college as a way to train for Ultimate Frisbee season. After graduating, running became my main form of exercise and an enjoyable way for me to better get to know the city I live in. This will be my first Boston Marathon!
After spending 23 years living in the Greater Boston area, I will likely move on to a new region this fall to begin medical school. I can think of no better way to say goodbye to Boston than to run the Marathon on behalf of an organization that is doing such important work and has had such a profound impact on my medical journey.
I currently work as a Case Manager/ Care Coordinator for BHCHP at our clinic within the 112 Southampton Street Shelter. When I first applied for the job and I was researching the work our program does, I came across the Marathon Team and knew if I ended up joining the organization, I would also want to join Team BHCHP. Over a year later, here we are! Now working at BHCHP, running the marathon, and raising money for the organizations has taken on new meaning, as I feel very connected to this important work and understand how the money raised can benefit so many of our patients.
One of the things I have learned over the course of my time at BHCHP is how so much of our work is a marathon and not a sprint. The housing process that I help patients navigate takes time and it can be challenging to stay the course, to keep on going. Much of our healthcare mission is the same way. Health is also about the long run, and while we certainly have many (heartbreaking) hills that need to be climbed along the way, the goal is to help our patients lead long and healthy lives. I wanted to join Team BHCHP to live out these lessons that working with our patients has taught me. I have been inspired every day by what our patients persevere through and accomplish, and hope that through training and running the Marathon, I can spread some of that inspiration, educate others about our patient’s needs, the important work BHCHP does, raise needed funds for our work, and put a smile on our patient’s faces.
Hometown: Newton, MA | Current Residence: Chelsea, MA
I started running my senior year of high school because there was a marathon club at my school. I had told my friend that running a marathon would be cool and he said I wouldn’t be able to do it because I was too fat. I immediately signed up and ran my first marathon 6 months later after never running more than a mile. Growing up in Newton, the Boston Marathon race course inspired me to one day be the one running and not just cheering on the sideline. The storied history of the race and the challenge both physically and mentally, was something I wanted to do. This will be my first Boston Marathon and third marathon in general.
Through my work directing a homecare agency, I had the opportunity to interact with BHCHP patients. We work directly with BHCHP staff to ensure a safe transition from the streets to the shelter and back on their feet. Supporting people who are experiencing homelessness is so important to me because they often get shunned by society. There is a negative stigma that affects this underserved population and with some love and support it can make a life-changing difference. Many members of this community have to overcome addiction, substance abuse and mental health diagnoses and have to resort to being on the street.
What’s so special about the BHCHP community is the amount of love, care, and support that the staff here at this program show daily. The daily commitment to helping the homeless population is inspiring to myself and so many others. The environment they foster is infectious. Through my professional collaborations through the BHCHP I’ve seen home much love and support each patient receives from start to finish. Hearing from people that this program has helped is so rewarding.
Hometown: Ingolstadt, Germany | Current Residence: Boston, MA
Since I was a child, I admired friends and family that dared participate in the signature events of my hometown, the half marathon. At 16, I was brave enough to join them. Running symbolized an empowered way of life to me – the freedom to always get from A to B, a strategy to stay healthy without fancy equipment and an “in” to a global community.
These days, my running often takes me through [Mass & Cass area]. This is a constant reminder that many people can’t take the benefits I have for granted like an apartment I can return to at the end of the night and high quality healthcare. This inspired me to sign up for a volunteer day with BHCHP through my employer to see the health care network first hand, help out with the bingo session, and learn more about the patients. I was very impressed with how BHCHP was run, and donated and jumped at the opportunity to join Team BHCHP for the 2024 Boston Marathon. This is my first Boston Marathon! I have been lucky enough to complete an Ironman triathlon and five marathons, including the original race from the city of Marathon to Athens.
I am inspired by Gandhi’s quote “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” Regarding homelessness, we have a long way to go. My joining Team BHCHP is about restoring dignity, fostering compassion, and creating a community that cares.