by Rick Winterson


Would you believe that a South Boston entry into the 2019 Marathon (Patriots Day, April 15), who is already running 12-minute miles over long distances really did not much care for running prior to last year?  Well, that’s the case with Maren Tober, a resident of the West Broadway Development.  Yes, Maren is running for her own satisfaction.  And also yes, Maren is running to raise funds for “YES”.  The acronym YES stands for “Youth Enrichment Services”, where her three sons –

Youth Enrichment Services (or YES) is located on Massachusetts Avenue in the South End/Back Bay.  In YES’s most recent annual report, they refer to a membership of more than 1,600 young people, who were helped to experience the out-of-doors, via activities like skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, kayaking, skateboarding, track-and-field, and more.

Included under the previous word “More” are additional qualities that YES instills into the youth they serve.  These qualities are as important as experiencing the outdoors; they include character traits such as confidence, leadership, career/college preparation, and even healthy and nutritious eating.  YES is also planning for future growth and development.  Their aim is to double the number of young people served by 2020.  Already, YES has met the Year One benchmarks of its Strategic Plan.

In any case, your support of Maren’s Marathon and YES would be very much appreciated.  Log onto to make a donation.  If you are interested in learning more about YES (or perhaps volunteering in some way?), let Maren hear from you directly at

Maren is originally from Germany; she was a resident of Berlin.  She met her husband, Nelson Da Costa, in Havana, Cuba, in 2002, a gap year Maren took between high school and college.  Nelson is an artist – a painter whose media include acrylics, and who is based in New York City.

You have probably seen Maren around South Boston, where she was overseeing the Farmers Markets in Perkins Square on Mondays, for the South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation.  Her vocation is community endeavors of all kinds.  Last year, her father passed away in Germany, so she and the boys spent two months there during the summer.  She came back determined to get herself into shape, and part of her training discipline was distance running.  She found out that she liked running better than she ever expected, and has since pursued it as an exercise, a competitive sport, and a way to raise funds for organizations like YES..

So far, Maren has participated in five 5K runs, including the well-known L Street 5K.  Currently, she’s training for her Marathon in her own gym, at TrackSmith on Newbury, and with the well-named Heartbreak Hill Running Group.  Her running regimen now amounts to 15 miles; she’s aiming for 20+ before the Patriots Day Marathon on April 15 – Hopkinton to here, 26.2 miles in less than six hours.  Actually, Maren is making excellent progress in her conditioning.  Right now, she can run each mile at an average of about 12 minutes per mile.  Over the 26.2 mile course from Hopkinton, that multiplies out to five (5) hours and 20 minutes – a good time overall, and she still has two more months to train before Maren’s Marathon on Monday, April 15.   Once again, please support Maren’s Marathon on, or get in touch with her at