How TB12 Gives Back: Meet the 2021 TB12 Foundation Boston Marathon Team

How TB12 Gives Back: Meet the 2021 TB12 Foundation Boston Marathon Team

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After the success of our inaugural TB12 Foundation Team in the 2019 Boston Marathon and the incredible spirit and commitment shown by the members of our 2020 Team, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to return to the historic Boston Marathon course in person for the 2021 edition of this legendary race.

After navigating nearly 11 months of on-and-off training, the onset of a global pandemic, and an unprecedented move to a virtual race, runners from our 2020 TB12 Foundation Boston Marathon Team finally had the chance to complete their 26.2 mile journey virtually last September.

This year, however, they’re more ready than ever to get back on the course and run it back. This year’s team attracted a large group of qualified applicants, all highly motivated to be part of the return of in-person marathons. We’re proud to introduce the 2021 TB12 Foundation Boston Marathon Team:

01 Cheryl Bechunas:

From Sutton, Massachusetts, Cheryl Bechunas and is excited more than ever to be running her 9th Boston Marathon for The TB12 Foundation. Cheryl is a wife, mother of two, and a Senior Marketing Specialist. She is eager to pass along the successful training philosophies and holistic mission of TB12 and The TB12 Foundation.

Cheryl has a qualified Boston Marathon number but is committed to put her legs to good use and raise money for The TB12 Foundation. With her joy of running and desire to give everyone the opportunity to reach their goals, no matter their health or financial status, Cheryl is excited to team up with the TB12 Foundation for the 125th Boston Marathon; it’s a win/win for everyone!

She is a passionate runner longing to continue for years to come. Cheryl also believes that age has no limits. Fifty years young and no interest in slowing down, she wants to share with others the success of TB12’s blend of smart training, pliability, healthy lifestyle, and a positive mindset.

“There are no limits, only the ones you put upon yourself,” Cheryl says. “I love how The TB12 Foundation is relentless in trying to help ANYONE at ANY age and ANY level of physicality to simply be healthy, active and sustain their best—whatever that ‘best’ maybe. I am so proud, honored, and humbled to be a part of such a great team committed to not only improving lives but changing lives.”

02 Sarah Checkosky:

Sarah Checkosky is a retired Team USA figure skater that has found a new love for running. Sarah competed on the synchronized skating team, The Haydenettes, for 5 years with fellow TB12 runner, Katey Nyquist. This journey took her all over the world, and she collected 5 National Championships and a World Bronze medal along the way.

While attending Boston College, Sarah watched the Boston Marathon pass by every year, and she was annually inspired to tackle the daunting task of running the race for herself. Sarah and Katey made a pact that after retirement from skating, their next goal would be to run Boston. After the 2020 World Championships were devastatingly canceled due to COVID-19, Sarah made the decision to retire from skating, and turned to running to get her through this tumultuous time.

When the announcement was made that the Boston Marathon would be returning in October 2021, Sarah and Katey knew it was their time. Running for the TB12 Foundation has been the perfect fit for Sarah, because as a former Team USA athlete, she knows how critical it is to have proper training and recovery to reach your athletic peak. She is so excited to be a part of this cause, and can’t wait to cross the finish line in October!


03 John Christian:

“I was born and raised in Brookline, MA. As a child growing up and watching the Boston Marathon every year, running the Boston Marathon earned a spot on my bucket list. Five years ago, after a doctors visit where I was severely overweight and pre-diabetic, I began running.

When I started running, I hated it. I decided I should sign up and run the 2017 Boston Marathon as a way to hold myself accountable. I wasn’t worried it would be the first marathon, let alone first race I have ever done. At the time, I thought it would be the only marathon I would ever run. The journey to run my first marathon, changed running from something I hated into a passion.

The last marathon I ran was Boston 2019. I was able to finish with a personal best time, but in doing so, I tore my meniscus. I ended up needing surgery and had to stop running for most of 2020. I had no idea how much I would miss running and how much it had become a part of my lifestyle. It had become something I loved. As I am getting back into running, I have the unbelievable opportunity to work with the TB12 foundation.

I am able to experience first hand how incredible their services are to athletes. They are helping me though my injury, while making me an overall stronger runner. It is an honor to be able to run the 2021 Boston Marathon on behalf of the TB12 foundation and raise money to help other athletes do what they love, longer.”

04 Aleesha Denning:

Aleesha Denning was born in Weare, NH and now lives in Ormond Beach, FL. She’s a certified Infant Survival Swim Specialist, which she describes as “one of the most rewarding jobs.” Aleesha began running marathons in 2017, always dreaming of someday running the Boston Marathon.

Now, she’s as excited as ever. The TB12 Foundation resonates with Aleesha, as it’s another way for her to benefit kids. “For my job, I get to teach babies from six months to three years the life-saving skills they need in and around water,” says Aleesha, “and now, I get to be a part of the TB12 Foundation Team and fulfill my dream of running the Boston Marathon!”


05 Keller Dinan:

Keller A. Dinan, born and raised in Monterey, MA, will be running in his first ever Boston Marathon in 2021. A graduate of Endicott College in 2014 with a Sport Management degree, Keller has always thrived around fitness and being active. A three-year member of the Men’s DIII Tennis Team, he has been working in the athletics industry in the front office and the front lines as a coach for 10 years. Keller currently works with DraftKings, Capo Restaurant and Supper Club, along with Game Day Marketing with the Boston Red Sox.

A resident of South Boston, Keller looks to become more involved with the community raising awareness on getting the youth in the community outside and active! We are excited for what Keller brings to the TB12 Foundation team this year!


06 Will DiTullio:

“Over the last nine years, the Boston Marathon has provided me with an opportunity to push myself in ways I never thought I would have a chance to. I never imagined back in 2012, that running the marathon would become a yearly tradition. If it weren’t for the great people in my life and the non-profits that have taken a chance on me, I couldn’t continue to do what I love, and for that I am so appreciative.

Last year, several of my running friends and I trained for 40+ weeks and ran the virtual Boston Marathon in September. We enjoyed that day, but we all agreed that something was missing. Boston isn’t truly Boston without the raucous crowds lining the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Boylston Street. There had been a lot of uncertainty about the 2021 race, which would be the 125th Boston Marathon. Earlier this year, we received clarity that there would be an in-person event but it would be limited to 20,000 runners.

I am thrilled to announce that I secured one of those coveted spots and for the third consecutive year, the TB12 Foundation, has selected me to represent them on Marathon Monday, which will be held as of now on October 11th. I can’t express in words how excited I am to return to the starting line once again. I will not take this opportunity for granted.

Over the next five months, I will share with you the work the TB12 Foundation is doing with athletes, veterans, and first responders. I hope to take some lucky donors to TB12 to see the work they are doing. The TB12 Foundation’s mission is to educate and inspire athletes/individuals to excel in both sports and life. The TB12 Foundation provides access to innovative health and wellness resources that support preparation, performance, and recovery – empowering people who are at-risk due to economic or health-related obstacles to reach their performance and life goals. Working with TB12, has helped me cut my marathon time from 5:55 in 2012 to 3:42 in 2020.

This year, I will do the unthinkable. I will be running the Berlin Marathon on September 26th and then running the Boston Marathon two weeks later. Recovery will be the key to my success.”


07 Chris Federico:

Chris Federico was born and raised in Attleboro, MA, and is a lifelong Boston sports fan and avid runner. Chris graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree, and developed a passion for raising awareness and delivering education related to physical fitness and nutrition.

After growing up with a sibling with Type 1 Diabetes, Chris learned firsthand how access to healthcare resources can have a positive impact on an individual’s physical health and overall wellness. Combining his passion for personal health and helping others improve their physical performance is what drew Chris to the TB12 Foundation.

“When I cross the finish line in October with my best time yet, and asked which marathon is my favorite, I know what my response will be…,” says Chris, “‘The next one’”.


08 Kevin Flike:

Kevin is originally from Saratoga, NY, and attended Union College in Schenectady, NY before volunteering for the U.S. Army Special Forces and earning the Green Beret. He was assigned to the 1st Special Forces Group in Fort Lewis, Washington, and he deployed to the Philippines, Thailand, and twice to Afghanistan.

On September 25, 2011 Kevin was severely wounded during combat operations. Throughout his recovery, Kevin was inspired and motivated by a desire to be able to run again, and someday run the Boston Marathon. After three years of recovery and training with TB12, Kevin will now have the opportunity to live out that dream and complete his first Boston Marathon as part of Team TB12 Foundation.

Upon retirement from the U.S. Army, Kevin went on to earn dual Masters’ Degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (MPA), and the MIT Sloan School of Management (MBA). Currently, Kevin is the Director of Strategic Projects for Threat Stack, a Boston-based cybersecurity firm. Kevin continues to serve the Special Forces community as a member of the Board of Directors for the Green Beret Foundation. He has been married to his college sweetheart, Kimberlee, for twelve years. They live in Weymouth, MA with their two daughters, Lilah and Everly.


09 Todd Garland:

Todd is from Hingham, MA and will be running his first Boston Marathon with the TB12 Foundation in 2021. Todd played sports in high school, but wasn’t really talented enough to compete at a higher level. However, he is quite competitive, and after a couple decades of building businesses in the Boston area is finally taking his competitive spirit to his personal health.


“I’m turning 40 this year and have finally realized that I’m in the only body I’ll ever get”, says Todd, “I want to enter my 40’s in the best shape, both mentally and physically, that I’ve ever been. For my family, for myself, and because why not?”


Todd is thrilled to support the TB12 Foundation’s mission with his fundraising efforts for the marathon.


10 Madeline Giese:

Maddy Giese is from Grafton, MA, and has been living in Boston for the last two years with her boyfriend and their dog Desi. She has always been active growing up, playing team sports, and discovered her love of running in college at Roger Williams University.

The Boston Marathon has been on her bucket list since she handed out waters to the runners on the course as a kid. The 125th Boston Marathon will be her first marathon and she is very proud to be running for the TB12 Foundation.


“Funny enough, when I called my Dad upon getting the news I would be running with the Boston Marathon with the TB12 team, he was wearing a TB12 hat! I cannot wait to cross the finish line surrounded by family and friends in October. LFG!”


11 David Hagen:

David is a returning member from our 2020 Boston Marathon team. David didn’t get a chance to run the actual marathon last year due to Covid-19, but he did run it virtually mapping out a route from TB12 in Foxboro to TB12 on Boylston street. The virtual Boston Marathon was his second marathon having participated in the Chicago Marathon in October 2019. David currently lives in Union, NJ, but has lived in Florida, Wisconsin, New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Minnesota. Having gone to high school in Red Wing, MN and graduating 30 years ago this year, he claims that as his childhood home, but he’s been a Jersey guy for the last 17 years.

David claims that his life has changed immensely once he started the TB12 Method. Whether it be his workout structure, his recovery, sleep, nutrition, or well-being all have transformed a once aging 46 year old man into a recently turned 48 year old, who is full of life and energy.

He just started running only two years ago in 2019 and will be trying to pull off the completion of three marathons in the span of 41 days starting with the Berlin Marathon on September 26th, Boston on October 11th, and the NYC Marathon on November 6th.


“I’m proud to be a member of an organization that looks to help those in need rehabilitate, grow, and succeed in life on the field and off.” “If it wasn’t for the tools, I’ve learned from the TB12 Method, then I wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything I’ve done over the last two years.”


David is married to Gloria and they have two kids, Abby (Boston University Junior) and Ethan (Magnet HS Senior)


12 Jim McDonough:

Jim lives in Hingham, Massachusetts, with his wife Ally and three children Harper, Jackson, and Liam. Marathon Monday has always been one of his favorite days of the year. As an athlete growing up, he admired the dedication it takes for runners worldwide to travel to Boston to compete in such an intense race.

This will be Jim’s first marathon, and he couldn’t be prouder running it in Boston supporting the TB12 Foundation. His friend and TB12 teammate, Kevin Flike, was shot in Afghanistan in 2011 during his 2nd deployment. Kevin suffered life-threatening wounds to his abdomen and had paralysis in his left leg. After 4 years of recovery and training with TB12, he will be running the marathon!


13 Michaela Menard:

Originally from lil Rhody, Michaela now lives in Weymouth, MA and is running her first marathon with the TB12 Foundation. While studying at Northeastern University (some-ish years ago), she, like most college students in Boston, would spend Marathon Mondays on Boylston Street watching the runners cross the finish line. Inspired by their athleticism, resilience, and dedication, Michaela put it on her bucket list to run the Boston Marathon one day.

Exercise has always been a huge part of Michaela’s life but she never considered herself a runner. That was until a wise person told her that no one is born a runner – you become a runner by running. So she did. And now that one day is here.


“I’m so looking forward to putting this huge checkmark on my bucket list, and am proud to be doing it with the TB12 Foundation. As I train for the marathon, I’m experiencing first-hand the incredible benefits this organization provides to athletes as they work toward their goals, and I’m honored to be a part of helping other athletes put a checkmark on their own bucket list.”


14 Katey Nyquist:

Katey Nyquist is from Parker, Colorado and lived in Boston for seven years. She graduated from Bentley University with a degree in Information Design and Corporate Communications in 2018. She also competed for Team USA on the Haydenettes Synchronized Skating Team, earning 5 National Titles and 3 World Medals while she was on the team. She is excited to be fulfilling her goal of running the 2021 Boston Marathon with her best friend, Sarah Checkosky! LFG!


15 Caroline O'Donnell:

"I ruptured my achilles 2 year ago and came through the doors of TB12 1.5 years ago in rough shape- a significant limp, constant pain and nowhere close to ever imagining being the athlete I once was. I can’t say enough about the team- all of them- in Foxboro. They got me back on my feet, but more so, instilled within me a confidence that this injury subtly, yet strongly, knocked out of me.

I owe Paul, James and Tim so much for supporting me through rehabbing & I owe Tim and James immensely for making good on the promise I made in my first week to come out better/faster/stronger post surgery. They continue to level me up and are there every step of the way to support each goal- from a triathlon earlier this summer to crossing this marathon finish line come October. I am living proof of what the TB12 Method can do (change your life!) & am so honored to raise money to make sure those who need their services & mentorship most will have the opportunity."


16 Victor Ramos:

Victor Ramos lives in Mexico City, Mexico, and will be running his first Boston Marathon this year as part of Team TB12 Foundation. Victor’s desire to run the Boston Marathon dates back to 1997 when he was living in Boston and was inspired by the sight of the runners flying down Boylston Street.

He began seriously running in 2011 after playing soccer, tennis, and golf for most of his life, and now competes in Ironman Triathlons. Victor is proud and excited to be part of the TB12 family, saying,

“I cannot imagine anything better than running for the TB12 Foundation!”


17 Tushar Raval:

Tushar ran his first marathon in 2015, but soon found himself struggling to fight chronic pain and arthritis. After succumbing to cramps during the Berlin marathon in 2017, he began researching new methods of diet and training to enable his body to perform at a high level. He came across the TB12 method, overhauled his regimen, and the results have been incredible. Since then, he has run 5 out of 6 of the World Major Marathons, shaving nearly two hours off of his first marathon time.

“I aim to run the Boston Marathon in under 3 hours and 45 minutes, setting a new personal record and completing my goal of running all 6 world majors,” said Tushar.

18 Bianca Routt:

You can help give back to the TB12 Foundation in style this year with this year’s Boston 26.2 Long Sleeve, featuring classic colors and a Boston cityscape that highlights the marathon route. This shirt also helps at-risk athletes access the resources they need, since a portion of all proceeds will directly benefit the TB12 Foundation.