Meet Jay O’Brien Running The 2012 Boston Marathon

Jay O’Brien has a unique passion and energy for life that compels him to take on extraordinary challenges. For 12 years he has had a personal passion for running and has trained and competed in 12 marathons; 10 of which have been the Boston Marathon. As a veteran of the world’s oldest and most prestigious 26.2 mile race, Jay stays motivated in his pursuit by another personal calling: contributing to a better way of life for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Towards that end, this will be the fourth year Jay is running as part of the select, seven-member Boston Marathon “Team SOMA” to raise money for individuals with intellectual disabilities. 

Jay had first-hand experience witnessing the incredible benefits Special Olympics provides for individuals with intellectual disabilities when he worked for the organization from 2002-2011. Through his work he developed a deep personal connection to the Special Olympics athletes and their families. He is currently studying health care policy at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge with a particular focus on reducing health care disparities for individuals with disabilities. Jay is also pursuing professional opportunities in the health sector after he graduates in May. His primary goal is to have the biggest impact possible for the extraordinary population of children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Jay invites residents in his town of Cambridge to visit his fundraising page at: and to help him in his pursuit of a better life for athletes and families living with intellectual disabilities. He will stay focused on his fundraising goal during the race and will derive motivation from the challenges these Special Olympics athletes and their families face each day.


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