Hilary Dionne, one of the newer additions to the Craft Concepts Racing Team, was in Berlin to run the marathon last weekend. Lucky for us, Hilary took some time to share her experiences with us when she got back to the States. Hilary already had her OTQ time in hand before the race went off (an A standard 2:35:08 from the ’14 Boston Marathon), but she had her sites set on even faster times.
Here are a few questions we sent over to Hilary after she ran a new PR of 2:34:45 (19th overall and first American woman):
In terms of the atmosphere, etc, how did it compare to Boston?
The atmosphere felt similar to Boston and New York, in terms of the build up beforehand and energy across the city for the event. The start was done well with the introductions and pump-up music, and then running up to the Brandenburg Gate on the way to the finish line was a big motivator to push it in.
What was different than Boston was of course starting with the men. For me, this meant never getting stuck in “no woman’s land”, which I’ve done 2 out of 4 times in Boston. I wasn’t with any set pack in the race, but there were always a few people around, men and occasionally women.
Did the race go as planned?
Berlin was a very memorable racing experience overall and I did what I set out to do: run a competitive race and beat my PR from Boston 2014. I was also shooting for a top 20 finish, and placed 19th — though to be honest, I had no idea what place I was in for most of the race. I went out a bit quicker than I intended, but wanted to push the pace and see what I could hold through the race.
Were you excited to see your name show up in the LetsRun coverage, or has all of your Level exposure gotten you used to the bright media spotlight?
It was definitely cool to see my name pop up on Letsrun as the top American woman…but then the thread turns into the “embarrassing” state of US marathoning, and that we should send more marathoners to train in Japan. So yes, Letsrun…
Did you get to enjoy some time as a tourist?
We spent 2 more days in Berlin and then went to Munich. This was my first full week off from work in 2 years and I enjoyed.