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:
Club: Green Mountain Athletic Association
Hometown: Burlington, VT
How did you get started in running?
I’ve always enjoyed running for recreation, but got into road racing in 2001 (age 34), after the birth of my fourth child.
What has been your most memorable running experience?
The first time I won the Green Mountain Marathon (2006) was an amazing feeling, breaking that tape and accomplishing something I hadn’t thought I could do (17 minutes faster than my previous best)! And, the Boston Marathon has always been a celebration of running and springtime for me; I thought nothing could beat the euphoria of Boston 2011, with its once-in-a-lifetime tailwind, when I set my marathon PR of 3:06, but Boston 2014 was much more, really a celebration of humanity, and my most memorable running experience thus far. Running Boston has become, for me, much more than a personal challenge.
What does it mean to be a runner from New England?
To work with what you’ve got; to be thankful for IceBugs and facemasks and the treadmill; to laugh when a flatlander describes a “big hill.”
Have you run the Boston Marathon before?
Yes, six times (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014). I was ready to go in 2012, but realized the day was going to be too hot (I’ve had heatstroke before so need to be careful). I got up at 5 a.m. and ran from the finish line to the halfway point in Wellesley and back to do the 26.2. I enjoyed some yells of “You’re winning!” (I had my bib on) and also chatting with some crazy folks who run to the start each year before running the marathon! Then, I went out to Heartbreak Hill and spectated, and was very glad I wasn’t racing!
Why did you choose to run the 119th Edition?
My daughter is a junior at Wellesley College. Their famous “Scream Tunnel” is that much more awesome because I get to stop and hug Charlotte! So I’m in for 2015 and 2016 at least! Plus, I just love running Boston! We make a weekend of it, with a Sox game (and sometimes Bruins) and a visit with my brother and his family in Arlington.
What are your goals (broad or specific) for this year’s race?
Just to run smart and patiently, and to finish. I’d like to be in good enough shape afterwards that I can run the Vermont City Marathon a month later.
What are you most excited about?
Soaking up the atmosphere of the day, talking with runners from all over on the bus and at the start, seeing Charlotte at Wellesley and the rest of my family at Heartbreak Hill, making it to Boylston and crossing the finish line. High-fiving some kids along the way, seeing the chalkboards with the Sox score updates and hopefully some signs of spring like leaves and flowers!
What are you most nervous about?
How painful my foot injury will be; hoping the day is not too warm and sunny.
Featured image was from the 2014 Boston Marathon and courtesy of Jan Leja.