Boston Legion: Lindsay Willard

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Level Legion 2.0 - The 119th Boston Marathon

By Tim Ritchie

Last year we featured five athletes from our own community during their build-up to the 118th Boston Marathon. They shared with us their training, past experiences, fears, worries, excitement and thoughts during the final weeks before the race. This year we have found again a great representation of the New England running scene to inform, inspire and run alongside us. Today we introduce to you:


Here’s Lindsay on her way to the win in the first ever Level Renner 10k back in August of 2013.

Age: 36

Club: BAA

Hometown: Westford, MA

How did you get started in running?

In seventh grade, age 11, my middle school got Spring Track as a new sport, and my friends were trying out. I’d never played anything as a kid growing up… no soccer, dance, T-ball - nothing. I had no skills for cardio or coordination. But I desperately wanted to be on a team and try out to be a sprinter and do the 100m dash - or something cool like that… BUT I was terrible at it! On the final day of tryouts the coaches sent me out in my high-tops with the “distance group” for a 2 mile run - probably thinking I would finally quit. But I came back 3rd out of our co-ed group. So at the first track meet the coaches put me in the mile, and I ran a 6:31… after that, they told my parents to please buy me some running shoes 🙂

What has been your most memorable running experience?

The 2012 Boston Marathon was the year of the heat wave and somehow my best performance despite the times being much slower than usual, due to the weather conditions. Running without expectations was so freeing, because everyone had just accepted that this was going to be a really tough day. But realizing that I had eventually caught up to the back of the Elite Women’s wave, and to eventually wind up finishing 17th female and 5th American overall - that was the highlight of my running career. It probably will NEVER happen again, so I will cherish that day.

What does it mean to be a runner from New England?

There is so much Boston pride in this area and across the country when you travel for other races.  There is great crowd support and love for Boston. We train under some truly grueling conditions, and it’s totally worth it all on race day.

Have you run the Boston Marathon before?

I have run the Boston Marathon 8 times so far, this year will hopefully be my 9th.

Why did you choose to run the 119th Edition?

Last year was emotional after the 2013 bombing and was full of setbacks from injury and illness… so I am very hopeful to feel stronger and have the wonderful crowd support for a better Boston performance this April.

What are your goals (broad or specific) for this year’s race?

I had been hoping to get closer to even thinking about the Olympic Trial qualifier times at Boston this April, but right now I just want to get to the starting line in fighting shape.

What are you most excited about?

I’m really excited for that bus ride out to Hopkinton on race morning, and to go to the start corrals full of hope with my teammates.

What are you most nervous about?

I am very nervous about the worsening conditions of my hip flexor and psoas injuries this winter.

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