Teacher Spotlight: Courtney Hugo

Teacher Spotlight: Courtney Hugo

STEM Co- Coordinator Courtney Hugo grabs water from her mother so she can cool down. Hugo ran the 2012 Boston Marathon.

It was the last 200 meters of the race. Math and science teacher Courtney Hugo scanned the masses of screaming people.  She shouted over the crowd for her dad.  When he finally saw her, he lit up.

This is a recurring scene for Hugo, who has run 16 races, three of which were 50-milers.  As an athlete in both high school and college, she “had always been interested in marathons.”  It wasn’t until her junior year in college, however, that she ran her first one, a race close to her college in Hartford, Conn.

“It wasn’t too big of a deal for me because I was a distance runner in track and I was use to running those kinds of distances,” Hugo said.

In her first marathon, Hugo finished with a time of three hours and 31 minutes, but this would not be her fastest time.  In 2008, Hugo completed the National Marathon in Washington D.C. in three hours and 30 minutes.  “I’m hoping I can beat that time.  I’ve been trying to beat that time for so many years,” she said.

Hugo attributes her family’s support as her motivation for continuing to run marathons.  They meet her along the courses and run a few miles with her.  “The thing about some of these races is that you can’t do them without someone supporting you.  I couldn’t do it without my family helping me,” she said.

The feeling of accomplishing a marathon also causes her to continue running, according to Hugo.  “This is the funny thing about marathons.  [My first marathon] was so painful and I was like ‘I am not doing this again,’ and then a few weeks after running a marathon, you forget about the pain, and I’m like ‘I want to do this again.’”

Although Hugo has run races in cities from Newport, R.I. to Chicago, Ill., her favorite is in Boston, in which she has competed five times.  “I love Boston.  Boston is just amazing.  It is a good quality of runners because you have to qualify for it,” she said.  According to Hugo, the race is held on a state holiday, so the whole town cheers the runners on.  She hopes to qualify for the Boston Marathon for the sixth time this spring.

It was one of these five times in the Boston Marathon, in April of 2012, that Hugo deems her most fulfilling race to date.  Race organizers emailed runners telling them that they could drop out if they wanted because the temperature was in the 90s, and according to Hugo, many did, or simply didn’t finish the race.  “I was so happy I finished.  Getting through all of that, that was probably one of my hardest races,” she said.

Hugo’s 16 medals hang in her basement.  Her numbers along with the time written on them are framed and in her basement as well.

For the future, Hugo holds big ambitions.  “I have this crazy idea, and this is a big pipe dream … I’d like to qualify for the Olympic trials,” she said.  “It’s a huge pipe dream, and it may never happen, but I’d at least like to try really hard for it.”


Kailey Tracy is the Copy Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.