April 12, 2024

St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center Cardiovascular Manager Running with Team Hoyt in the 128th Boston Marathon

BRIGHTON, MA – You never know where a chance meeting will take you. For Nicole Comeau, manager of operations for Cardiovascular Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, it will be running the 128th Boston Marathon on April 15 with a charity bib as part of Team Hoyt to fulfill a lifelong dream. 

In the 1990’s at a Feaster Five road race in Andover, Massachusetts, Nicole met the father-son duo of Dick and Rick Hoyt, who traversed thousands of miles in their running career with Dick Hoyt pushing his son’s wheelchair. Rick Hoyt lived with cerebral palsy and was a quadriplegic. He and his father completed 32 Boston Marathons and were also icons in the triathlon realm. Though both have passed away – Dick in 2021 at age 80 and Rick at age 61 last year – their legacy perpetually endures and inspires others.

“They were incredibly warm and inviting people,” Nicole recalled. I followed them for their entire career. When it came time to pick a charity for the Boston Marathon, it was ‘Yes, please’ to run with Team Hoyt.”

As a runner seeking a charity bib, Nicole had to complete an application process. In her narrative, she relayed to the Boston Athletic Association and Team Hoyt how her life has been touched by others who live with a disability. She recalled how she volunteered in a classroom dedicated to students with disabilities, ran track with a classmate who has Down syndrome, and how today she continues to enjoy helping others and being in the company of people who live with a disability.

“It has always mattered to me to find ways to include people with disabilities in everyday life,” Nicole said. “When you have an organization that raises money, that finds ways to include disabled people in everyday things, that’s amazing to me,”

Nicole has been a mid-distance and distance runner since she was an adolescent and ran competitively in high school and college. Running the Boston Marathon has always been a goal, one she said she purposely did not pursue earlier to avoid putting so many miles on her body at a young age. She sustained an injury in college that took her out of running for a few years and threatened her Boston Marathon dream, but she is happy to be back doing the sport she loves.

Like numerous runners and other athletes, Nicole has a chronic injury called bilateral Iliotibial band (IT band) syndrome, which can cause severe leg and knee pain. Because of this, she employs a run-walk method to prevent pain and injury. Since December, Nicole has gradually built up her training miles through increasingly longer runs on Saturdays only and has kept herself conditioned by riding her Peloton bike and walking, and incorporated massage and acupuncture into her training regimen. 

“I let go of my dreams of trying to run this as fast as I could,” Nicole said.

Instead, she will run her dream Boston Marathon as she can, and said she likes the fact that the pursuit of it has posed a difficult challenge to her. While she could have prepared to run any marathon, Boston has been the only one she has wanted to run. She plans to savor every mile and every moment, experiencing the unique feel of each community as she passes through it.

“What I really want to do is be present. I want to really absorb it,” Nicole said. “This is likely going to be my one shot at it. I don’t want to miss it. That’s really what I’m searching for.”

With the Boston Marathon days away, Nicole’s excitement is growing. To keep herself motivated through the miles, her watch flashes a message that reads “Move Forward,” and she plans to do that for 26.2 miles, in her Topo running shoes.

“To go as a runner instead of a spectator this year, it’s overwhelming me with excitement,” she said. “Everything I’ve always loved about the Boston Marathon is quadrupled this year. I’m so appreciative to have the opportunity to fulfill a dream.”

About St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, a Boston University Teaching Hospital, offers patients access to some 

of Boston's most respected physicians and advanced treatments for a full range of medical specialties, including family medicine, cardiovascular care, women and infants' health, cancer care, neurology care, and orthopedics. The 306-bed tertiary care facility is part of Steward Health Care. For more information, visit

About Steward Health Care 

Over a decade ago, Steward Health Care System emerged as a different kind of health care company designed to usher in a new era of wellness. One that provides our patients better, more proactive care at a sustainable cost, our providers unrivaled coordination of care, and our communities greater prosperity and stability. 
As the country’s largest physician-led, minority-owned, integrated health care system, our doctors can be certain that we share their interests and those of their patients. Together we are on a mission to revolutionize the way health care is delivered - creating healthier lives, thriving communities and a better world. 
Based in Dallas, Steward currently operates more than 30 hospitals across Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

For more information, visit